Inbev’s new 4% Stella Artois variant is understood to be launching with striking black and silver packaging that aims to differentiate it from the 5.2% flagship brand.
InBev is gearing up for the launch of the lower-strength Stella lager in a last-ditch attempt to shed the lager-lout image of Stella Artois and revive its falling sales. The new variant is expected to be introduced in the UK later this year.
Insiders say that, if successful, the 4% variant will become the flagship brand with the 5.2% lager becoming a premium, super-strength extension.
The brewer is talking to agencies about the launch campaign for the new variant. Lowe London, the long-term incumbent, is pitching against Mother for the account (MW.co.uk, July 11). TBWA/Berlin was knocked out at an earlier stage.
The winning agency will develop a launch campaign that is expected to include a heavyweight TV campaign, press and online.
The brewer has been desperate to move away from the moniker of “wife beater” that Stella Artois has been stuck with for years. It has already relaunched the brand as part of the Artois family, featuring the 4% ABV Peetermans Artois along with the bottled premium Artois Bock, a 6.2% version (MW March 9, 2006).
Last year, Lowe scrapped the “Reassuringly Expensive” strapline and replaced it with “Pass On Something Good” to support the Artois family of beers, which includes Peetermans and Artois Bock.