Archive for April, 2012

Stella Artois “Chalice Factory” Fails to Clear the Bar

April 30th, 2012

I consider Stella Artois to be one of the better and more flavorful lagers, as well as one of the best-marketed beers in the world.  But its “Chalice Factoryonline promotion fell flat for me.

I love it when a brand leverages a distinctive asset, which is exactly what Stella has done with the chalice-shaped glass in its print and TV advertising for years.  So the idea of taking consumers to an online “Chalice Factory” and giving them a chance to win their own chalice is an intriguing one.  The problem is that as I went through the interactive video, I became increasingly confident that I was going to win a chalice.  Why the high expectations?  Perhaps because the video was more time-consuming than I’d expected, leading me to think, “There’s no way they’re going to make me endure this whole experience and then not reward me for my time!”  So when I was told, “Sorry, but we’re out of chalices,” I felt both disappointed and betrayed.

Don’t get me wrong; the interactive video wasn’t bad; it’s just that it wasn’t great, and great is what I’ve come to expect from the marketing folks at Stella Artois.  But this time, they let me down on two counts:  they failed to meet my expectations from an entertainment standpoint, and they didn’t give me the prize they’d convinced me–intentionally or not–that I was about to win.

Just as with great athletes, the bar is higher for great marketers.  And when they fail to clear the bar, it’s a bigger deal than it is for lesser players.  This “Chalice Factory” promotion was a fairly bold gamble on Stella’s part–the marketing equivalent of stepping up to take the game-winning shot.  In this case, however, Stella Artois missed the shot at the buzzer, and in the process missed a shot at some great marketing buzz.