Warc, 20 May 2014
LONDON: The UK's leading brewers are joining forces for a summer marketing push that recognises the wide range of beers available and which they hope will put last year's unsuccessful effort behind them.
The campaign, entitled "There's more to beer", is expected to encompass the full scope of marketing activities and will move away from the slant taken in summer 2013 by the Big Five brewers – AB InBev, SAB Miller, Heineken, Molson Coors and Carlsberg – in their Let There Be Beer initiative.
Observers were critical of that campaign, which had focused on major brands and followed themes common to all beer advertising.
"Last year's campaign reinforced the problems that pushed the beer category into decline in the first place," Jonny Forsyth, global drinks analyst at Mintel, told Marketing Week. "It promoted mainstream lagers and reinforced the category's laddish connotations because of the use of generic terms like refreshing."
The issue of generic language was highlighted recently in Admap, where Alastair Herbert and Dr Ali Goode of Linguabrand said that over half brand language was generic and that brands were investing more in saying the same as competitors than in trying to say something unique. (Warc subscribers can read more here: Mind your brand.)
"The days of wanting a generic lager are gone and the upcoming campaign needs to appeal to a more sophisticated and adventurous type of consumer," Forsyth stated.
While no details were forthcoming from Let There Be Beer, this year's work is expected to focus on the diversity of beer styles and their taste, while also taking a leaf out of the wine playbook by pairing different beers with different foods. There will also be an attempt to take beer out of the traditional pub and home settings.
Forsyth referred to Mintel's own research in this area and said price and branding were only part of the overall picture. "There's a growing demand of people wanting to understand the provenance of beers as well experience something premium," he said.
"This depth of category is what will pull women to beer in a way that the previous campaign was unable to," Forsyth added.
The laddish approach taken last summer will certainly not be repeated as the ad was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for appearing to suggest that drinking beer made people more popular.
Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff