Fourth-generation Lancashire family cheesemaker, Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses, has unveiled its new creative platform and biggest ever above-the-line campaign for flagship blue cheese brand, Blacksticks.

Manchester has been chosen as the launch city for the national campaign, and the creative platform, ‘Cheese Set Free’ is about freeing Blacksticks from the perceptions and norms holding cheese back and awakening people to new, accessible blue cheese eating occasions, be it a mid-week sandwich, cheese on toast, or a gourmet burger.

Cheese in itself is scarcely advertised, and Butlers’ campaign, RULES ARE THERE TO BE SLICED, GRATED & TOASTED aims to inspire usage beyond the cheeseboard, as Matthew Hall, fourth-generation owner at Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses explains.

“More households buy cheese than toilet roll! Yet people buy into the same cheeses on autopilot over and over. There is so much joy to be had by injecting mega flavour into more of those cheese-eating moments with speciality British cheeses like Blacksticks.”

Butlers’ research shows that while people love eating blue at Christmas, they don’t find it as relevant for the rest of the year, as Matthew adds, “Our Christmas sales tell us that people love Blacksticks, so we know that’s not the barrier. Finding it relevant, is, and so we want to help cheese lovers discover Blacksticks and make it more accessible to them.”

That insight has spearheaded product development for the brand, with a range comprising Blacksticks Originalwhich is “perfect for classic cheeseboard use”, says Matthew, and the new Blacksticks Everyday which can be easily sliced and grated “without that crumbly stickiness you get with the Original wedge, while still getting the same rich, umami flavour.” Blacksticks Mega Melts are thick, hand cut slices from whole baby Blacksticks truckles, perfect for melting on top of a burger, and Blacksticks Dip is for those who trade into dips like houmous and guacamole and want to elevate their snacking with a premium, non-processed cheese dip.

Representing the new formats and usage occasions for Blacksticks, Butlers has evolved its ‘Blacksticks Blue’ brand identity, “We eat cheese every day. Blacksticks is cheese, and so that’s why we have removed the blue.”

The national breaking the rules campaign was developed with a Manchester launch firmly in mind. “Manchester is the perfect home to kick off our national campaign,” Matthew says. “Not only are we a local business, Mancunians challenge, break the rules and innovate in food, music, arts and culture. There is such a strong sense of identity here, Manchester carves its own path, which is exactly what we see for Blacksticks.”

Blacksticks is available to buy in all major supermarkets including Asda, Booths, Co-op, Morrisons, M&S, Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose as well as in independents, delis and for online delivery direct from the dairy to your front door at

Out of home, digital and radio ads will be running in Greater Manchester from May to July 2024.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here