Carling unveils £7.3m repositioning

Molson Coors is readying a £7.3m relaunch of its flagship Carling brand with new packaging, marcomms and sub-brand in a bid to arrest declining market share.

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The brewer hopes that the new positioning “Refreshingly and Brilliantly British” will help Carling become a “two billion” pint brand in the on-trade within the next three years. About 1.3bn pints were sold in pubs and clubs last year, the brewer says.

Chris McDonough, marketing director for Molson Coors in the UK and Ireland, says that the relaunch aims to make up ground lost to rivals such as Foster’s and Stella Artois.

“Our aim is to bring it back to being a confident and proud category leader,” he adds.

The rebrand will see Carling being sold in a new packaging format. It will be available in a new aluminium bottle, a move backed by a TV campaign breaking in September.

A new sub-brand, Carling Chrome will also launch from late August 2011. The drink has been developed to be lighter, and less bitter than master brand Carling. The lager, at 4.8% ABV, will be positioned as a premium drink with a “refined taste”.

The brewer is hoping that the launch of Carling’s new positioning and Carling Chrome will help reenergise the declining beer category.

Mark Hunter, chief executive of Molson Coors, says: “Consumers have become disengaged by the beer category as they perceive it as dull and lacking excitement. The industry is under great strain, but if beer can meet consumers’ needs and become more relevant it will help stimulate growth again.

A late summer brand awareness campaign for Carling Chrome, also created by VCCP Blue, will be followed by TV activity in January.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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