Posts Tagged ‘Stella Artois’

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.

Carlsberg Video Raises the Bar

October 31st, 2011

For years I’ve felt that some of the planet’s poorest marketers were breweries.  But while several beer brands continue to pummel us with exceptionally weak efforts (I’m talking about you, Miller Lite), brands such as Dos Equis, Corona, Stella Artois and Blue Moon have been serving up smart, strategic, entertaining advertising campaigns.

The latest example of out-of-the-can thinking is this viral video from Carlsberg beer.  As of the time of this posting, it had received almost 8 million viewings, and for good reason.  Like many great movies, this very cleverly conceived and produced video makes us feel a little uneasy in order to engage us deeply and make us empathize with its story.  And the ending makes us feel good about everyone in the video, as well as about the brand that has just entertained us so royally.  What’s more, it shows that brand in use, and makes us wish we were using it ourselves.

Maybe I’m a little biased by the fact that one of my favorite memories is having taking a 10:00 am tour of the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen on a break between graduating from business school and starting my career. What made the tour extra special is that I took it with the then-75-year-old brother of Jerry Siegel, the creator of Superman. Still, I feel I can objectively state that this video is, well, super.

Mr. Siegel, this Carlsberg’s for you!

Another Stellar Ad from Stella Artois

November 29th, 2009

When an ad is so good that both your wife and your best friend tell you to write a blog post about it, you know it’s something special. The ad in question is a visual stunner from Stella Artois that’s currently running–as far as I can tell–only in movie theaters.

Virtually everything in this exceptionally elegant commercial is white, with two exceptions: the gorgeous gold of the beer, and the brilliant red of the Stella Artois label. The ad accomplishes three things that ads in general, and beer ads in particular, rarely do: the product looks amazingly appetizing; the brand name is inescapable; and the brand image is beautifully enhanced.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an online link for the ad, which means you might have to go to a theater to see it. The good news is that based on the caliber of the movies coming out of Hollywood these days, the Stella ad will likely be much more entertaining and captivating than whatever flick you see. Here’s hoping you give the ad a “thumb’s up”–or, better yet, a “14th Floor”!