Beer chiefs change tack for fresh ‘Let there be beer’ push

The nation’s five biggest brewers are readying a marketing push to promote beer’s versatility after their initial joint-effort to reignite dwindling sales was slammed for focusing too heavily on mainstream beers.

Video: Let there be Beer TV advert

The summer campaign is the first fully integrated effort from the beer industry and centres on telling consumers “There’s More to Beer”. The strapline sums up plans to promote as many as beers as possible following “Let there be Beer’s launch TV campaign’s focus on mainstream beers such as Budweiser and Foster’s last year. 

Provenance, the craft of brewing, diversity of beer styles, food parings and taste will also play pivotal roles in upcoming work. Additionally, it is understood that promotions will highlight beer’s suitability in venues beyond the traditional pub and home drinking settings. Activities are currently being developed with organisers planning to unveil the new creative later this summer.

SapientNitro is shaping the strategy around a mix of traditional advertising techniques, technology and data. “Let there be Beer” declined to share further details but said ads will encompass the “full marketing mix” to engage connected consumers.

It is the first major change for the AB InBev, SAB Miller, Heineken, Molson Coors and Carlsberg funded initiative since it launched last June. The ad was banned six months later for implying alcohol improves popularity and has had a limited effect on alcohol sales in the UK. It was criticised by industry observers  for not demonstrating the diversity of the category. ,

Jonny Forsyth, global drinks analyst at Mintel, says the “generic” campaign “”failed” to win round drinkers because it adopted the same type of advertising themes that defined the category in the 90s and early noughties.

He said: “Last year’s campaign reinforced the problems that pushed the beer category into decline in the first place. It promoted mainstream lagers and reinforced the category’s laddish connotations because of the use of generic terms like refreshing. 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.

“When we look at our own research we’re seeing that its not just price and branding that are winning over customers in stores. There’s a growing demand of people wanting to understand the provenance of beers as well experience something premium. This depth of category is what will pull women to beer in a way that the previous campaign was unable to.”

Rising demand for a broader choice of beers is highlighted in the emergence of flavoured variants. The flavoured on-trade market is projected to be worth £400m by 2016, according to alcohol consultants CGA Strategy, with core consumers coming from the 18 to 25 range. The popularity of flavoured beers alongside craft beers and cask ales has buoyed the category outright. Beer sales increased 0. 8 per cent in the three months to December, marking the first two consecutive quarters of growth in 10 years, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.

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