Carlsberg offers drinkers half-price beer in exchange for Instagram posts

Carlsberg is giving drinkers the chance to extend the “Happy Hour” period in bars by uploading pictures in an advocacy push to tie the brand to memorable nights out.

The Danish brewer says the “Happy Hour 2.0” initiative renews the “well-known” on-trade promotion to fit the modern social media mindset. Visitors to participating bars are given the opportunity to keep buying Carlsberg or Tuborg beer at half price by uploading pictures to Instagram with the name of the venue and the #HappyBeerTime hashtag. 

Carlsberg has fitted the bars with a dongle that streams a counter to TV screens updating participants and bar staff in real-time as content is submitted.

The brewer believes the initiative, created by digital agency Konstellation, will be a success because it caters to both drinkers and bars; visitors receive cheaper beer, while the bar receives word-of-mouth buzz on Instagram. Carlsberg will not curate the content adding it wants to build advocacy for the brand around specific nights.

The promotion is being trialed in Denmark before extending to other markets including the UK where it could potentially be targeted by alcohol awareness charities over concerns it promotes excessive drinking. The business, however, argues the promotion encourages people to drink more responsibly.

Jens Jermiin, vice president of group digital, media and content production at Carlsberg, told Marketing Week: “We’re extending the time-frame people can drink beer [at a discounted price] so they are not under pressure to drink excessive amounts in a short period. When combined with the social media mechanic, ‘Happy Hour 2.0 is much more about promoting the time people are social and happy together versus drinking.”

Alcohol Concern was unable to respond to request for comment by the time this article was published.

A spokesman for Carlsberg’s UK business says there are no plans to bring the campaign to the UK, despite the company initially suggesting otherwise.

He adds: “Carlsberg UK is aware of the trial in Carlsberg Denmark, however this promotion is not under consideration to be activated in the UK.” 

The business says the platform appeals to a “new-type of post social media” consumer and attempts to cultivate a new public habit.

It is the latest attempt from a brewer to push beer in bars, where wine and spirit brands have been traditionally more dominant. AB InBev, Heineken and SABMiler are looking to exploit the growth of the spirit beer category to make the drink more appealing in nightclubs.