Whitbread is putting &£3.5m behind a media and promotional push to build sales of its smaller brands Rolling Rock, Labatt Ice, Source and Volsk.
The four brands, which make up the company’s key development portfolio, will be featured in promotional tours throughout the UK, with sampling teams visiting up to 1,000 outlets. Each brand will feature for two weeks in each location until the end of July.
The initiative, called Urban Live, is aimed at raising awareness in the 18- to 24-year-old market for the four brands, which usually operate in the shadow of Whitbread’s better-known lines, Stella Artois and Heineken.
The promotional tour, which visits 24 cities over the two months, will be backed by TV, press and poster work, including building-sized Source posters and giant branded helium balloons.
Whitbread director of marketing, development brands, Sophie Spence says: “Urban Live is an innovative way of targeting young adults in their immediate environment. It is the best way for our customers to build the value of their drink sales.”
Meanwhile, a new national TV advertising campaign for Rolling Rock through Bartle Bogle Hegarty breaks this month and features two young men on a night out in Los Angeles.
Marketing activity on Whitbread’s brands is continuing despite the current negotiations over the future structure of the company, which is planning a &£2.3bn takeover of Allied Domecq’s 3,500 pub and restaurants.
Any purchase would mean the sale or demerger of Whitbread’s brewing interests, to concur with the Beer Orders of 1989 which limit pub ownership by brewers.