Rapport , Initiative, Fold 7 and Clifford French won ‘Best National Campaign’ at The Drum Out of Home Awards 2019 with the ‘Probably Not’ campaign for Carlsberg. Here we reveal the challenges faced and the strategies used to deliver this transformative, unorthodox campaign for the Danish beer giant.
Carlsberg was in trouble. People no longer believed it was ‘Probably the best beer in the world’.
To reverse declining sales and turn Carlsberg brand love into Carlsberg beer love, we had to find a way to appeal to both our existing audience as well as a new one who had come to expect more taste and more quality from a pint.
Carlsberg acknowledged that in the UK they had fallen below their own high brewing standards and so took the brave decision to go back to the brew-house in pursuit of better. They emerged with a New Danish Pilsner – completely re-brewed from head to hop.
But to reset perception, we’d need to win in the court of public opinion. This brave new brew required an even braver campaign. For Carlsberg to win, a traditional campaign wouldn’t cut it – to get people to change the way they thought about Carlsberg, we first needed to get people talking about Carlsberg. And for this, we needed to address the elephant in the room.
Well, the campaign was certainly talked about!
It made a mountain of newspaper headlines – with coverage from the likes of The Sun, Metro and Independent – and it even got David Mitchell, of Mitchell & Webb fame, talking about it for The Guardian!
More importantly though, it succeeded in getting people to re-appraise Carlsberg.
Carlsberg’s ‘quality’ score amongst our target audiences saw a double-digit increase, with ‘consideration’ and ‘purchase intent’ also rising.
On trade rate of sale is up double digits YoY in key national retailers since campaign launch.
We got the nation talking and importantly, they seem to be liking the new brew! A risk worth taking? Probably.