The cider maker is challenging male fans to take on one of Brazil’s top five-a-side female teams in Rio in a unique spin on the traditional “win trips to games” promotion. Candidates can sign-up at Power League centers across the UK as well as through Strongbow’s Facebook page, with successful teams invited to a trial day in London.
Sky Sports pundit and former professional player Chris Kamara will train the winners ahead of the match alongside “The Only Way Is Essex” star Mark Wright and a Brazilian coach. Digital content, created by St Luke’s and We Are Social, will chart the build-up to the game online with additional coverage across Sky’s TV and digital inventory.
Strongbow will also target vocal Twitter fans with videos of the female players dismissing their chances. The brewer is hoping the content sparks debate online, claiming it taps into an “age-old rivalry” between men and women.
Michael Gillane, cider brand director at Strongbow owner Heineken, told Marketing Week it is “confident” of lifting sales over the summer. The June and July period is traditionally where cider brewers spend the bulk of their media outlay for the year, however, both Kopparberg and Carlsberg’s Somersby cider have told Marketing Week they will dial down activity until after the World Cup to avoid competing with lager brands.
Gillane adds: “As a huge mainstream premium brand, Strongbow naturally competes with both ciders and lagers, and so far from avoiding beer territory, we’re hoping to steal volume from our rivals over the summer.
“Our campaign isn’t based on football, it’s based on a more motivating insight that most guys like to believe that if you put them on the spot, they can rise to the challenge – whatever the challenge may be.”
Cider has reinvented itself over the last seven years through brewers appealing to the social elements of young peoples’ lives and passions such as music. Activity around sport particularly football, has been mooted to date given the dominance of brands such as Heineken and Carlsberg in this space.
Strongbow’s push into sport is part of its “Earn It” campaign, which launched last year, to position the drink as a reward for overcoming life’s challenges. Heineken is to spend £20m on developing the brand throughout 2014 that will see it launch a new Citrus Edge flavor in the coming months.
Agencies Starcom MediaVest Group, RPM and Cow will support the brand charge.