How Birra Moretti plans to build an ‘iconic’ brand with immersive experiences

The brand aims to engage consumers with a “meaningful” message and build its share of the premium beer market, says global marketing director Marcelo Amstalden Möller.

birra moretti
Birra Moretti has launched Villa Moretti to celebrate the Italian way of life. Source: Birra Moretti

A year on from launching its first global campaign, Birra Moretti is focused on becoming an “iconic Italian beer” around the world by reaching out to its customers through “meaningful” experiences.

According to parent company Heineken’s 2022 annual report, the beer is now one of the business’s key brands in Europe and is leading growth among its premium offerings in the UK.

Last year Birra Moretti expanded into new markets, including Germany, the Netherlands and Serbia. But the Italian ethos remains pivotal to the brand.

This ethos inspired the brand’s first global campaign, launched in April 2021. The campaign, aimed at raising spontaneous awareness of the brand, introduced its new platform ‘Simple Pleasures’ and illustrated how it ties in with the Italian way of life.

Birra Moretti’s global brand and marketing director Marcelo Amstalden Möller tells Marketing Week the brand has been “very happy” with the results of the campaign.

“Our brand identity and our values are being well communicated and people are really understanding what we stand for,” he says. “I think this is behind the success and the growth we are seeing.”

The brand continues “bringing this [platform] to life” through different executions, from point-of-sale material to digital activations to immersive experiences.

Only the best quality and more meaningful brands will be successful going forward

Marcelo Amstalden Möller, Birra Moretti

Indeed, last month Birra Moretti unveiled ‘Villa Moretti’, the brand’s own villa in the hills of Tuscany.

Möller says the villa is a “dream come true” for the brand and aims to celebrate Italian living. It will bring consumers and influencers to the villa to experience the things that the brand “treasures”, such as good food (including pasta and gelato) and spending time together.

The brand will be able to reach lots of consumers through the initiative, even those who are unable to make it to the villa, he says. Birra Moretti will use social media to engage with consumers, whether that’s reposting consumers and influencers’ experiences of the villa or running competitions to win a holiday to the Tuscan location.

Möller adds that the brand is encouraging consumers to “live Italian” with the initiative, and that consumers can do that without actually going to the country.

“I personally say that every sip of Birra Moretti brings you a little bit of Italy,” he says.

But the villa activation is not the brand’s first foray into immersive experiences. In 2019 Birra Moretti opened a “bring your own table” restaurant and launched an at-home cooking service in London and Brighton with food prepared by Italian grandmothers. In 2021, the brand partnered with outdoor cinema Luna Cinema on an open-air movie experience.
Camden Town Brewery on ‘growing its meaning’ with national TV debute

“We like to be together with our customers,” explains Möller.

“In our busy life, we sometimes forget to have lunch breaks and we eat a sandwich in front of the computer or order a coffee and drink it walking towards your transportation in the city. And this is the type of thing that Italians don’t do. Italians really stop for lunch or dinner to enjoy it.”

However, Möller says Birra Moretti’s aim to get its customers to “live Italian” goes beyond just immersive experiences and relates to “everything customers touch and see”.

He also hints that the brand is shooting a TV series which further pushes the idea to consumers across the globe.

Taking an omnichannel approach

Birra Moretti takes a few different routes to market. Customers can buy the beer on-draught and in bottles in pubs and restaurants, as well as in off-licences, supermarkets and online.

Möller says online retail is still a “very small” sales channel for beer, but that Birra Moretti is nevertheless “growing a lot” in the space. The brand takes a “truly omnichannel approach” with how it sells its beer, he adds.

“There is a positive influence back and forth from on-trade to off-trade, and so on. So when people see you in on-trade, they try you, they know you, and then they buy you in off-trade, and vice versa,” he explains.

The brand is hoping to continue driving a positive cross-channel reputation as it seeks to expand Birra Moretti Zero, the brand’s non-alcoholic beer.Heineken’s Birra Moretti on why its first TV ad is the ‘final piece of the jigsaw’

The theme of drinking responsibly ties into the brand’s Italian ethos, Möller claims.

“We think it’s also part of an Italian culture. You enjoy life more… but it’s not about abusing the consumption of anything,” he says.

He insists the taste of non-alcoholic beer has “improved a lot”, and so the brand wants the product to appeal not just to non-drinkers, but to everyone as a non-alcoholic but still tasty alternative.

Birra Moretti is confident that the quality of its beer, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, can help it continue to grow even at a time when consumers are watching what they spend amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Indeed, Möller maintains that the brand is following the “right pattern” to reach consumers, despite constrictions on spending.

“Only the best quality and more meaningful brands will be successful going forward,” he says. “We are confident that we are offering amazing beer [of] very good quality, and [that we] are also very welcoming as a brand.”