Carlsberg’s ‘Beach Body’ spoof part of a move to be ‘on the pulse’ with real-time activity

Carlsberg is hoping to add humour to the debate surrounding Protein World’s controversial campaign as it launches a spoof of the ad, the latest effort for the brand to show consumers it is “on the pulse” of popular culture.

Carlsberg Beach body

The beer brand’s digital ad, which has appeared in three of London’s Underground stations, asks consumers if they are “beer body ready”, playing on the controversial “Are you beach body ready?” Protein World campaign, which was banned by the ASA this week following hundreds of complaints.

Dharmesh A Rana, senior brand manager for Carlsberg told Marketing Week: “We’ve had a really positive reaction to the ‘beer body’ campaign so far, and we feel the messaging we’ve used and the way we’ve positioned the advert means that we aren’t creating a positive or negative stance around the Protein World campaign, we’re just taking advantage of the natural media interest in the campaign to push our brand values.”

He adds that the move is in line with the brand’s effort to be “quick off the mark” in reacting to current events.

“Our focus for the brand is all about clever, ingenius marketing activity which shows consumers we’re on the pulse and that the brand has the same level of witty banter that Carlsberg drinkers do,” he adds.

Ryan Newey, executive creative director of Fold7, who created the “Beer Body” campaign in less than a day, said that the agency’s newsroom are “regularly responding to things happening in society from a Carlsberg perspective”.

“Carlsberg is there to serve as a reminder to bring it down a notch and be relevant to the everyday bloke,” he adds.

“There are a number of people jumping in on the Protein World attack, and we just thought it was a fun thing to do to remind people not to take it so seriously, which is the Carlsberg attitude.”

In February, the brand brought back its popular “If Carlsberg Did” tagline after a four-year absence. A Rana says this messaging will continue to be “the core focus” of the brand’s marketing strategy, but adds: “We’re willing to leverage other opportunities to drive brand fame.”

The ads, which went up at Euston, Liverpool Street and Embankment stations yesterday in close proximity to Protein World’s posters, will appear until Sunday (3 May).

The brand is not the only one to tap into the buzz surrounding Protein World’s campaign.

US swimsuit retailer Swimsuitsforall released an image on their Facebook page of plus size model Ashley Graham alongside the words: “Are you ready for this beach body?” promoting the hash tag #CurvesInBikinis, while plus size fashion retailer Navabi created a similar version of the ad with two plus size models who are “100% Beach Body Ready”. also released a holiday ad on its Facebook page showing a man in a bikini alongside the tagline “Our beaches are ready for every body!”

Meanwhile, a Dove-branded image showing curvy models in bikinis stating: “Yes. We are beach body ready” has also circulated on the web, although the brand has denied involvement.