Brau Holding International GmbH & Co. KGaA
Differentiation is difficult in the beer market. The Paulaner ‘Zwickl’ beer launch campaign had to break the mould. Authentic communication is relevant to turn the target group into ambassadors and to embody the product in an unconventional way in media, positioned between the mass market and the craft beer niche.
The world was not waiting for another beer on the market. In fact, new beers are brought to market on a nearly daily basis, primarily by smaller craft breweries. Beer consumption in Germany has been trending downward for years in general, and differentiation from other brands is becoming increasingly difficult. So Paulaner decided to try a new approach. With a product that acts on the trend towards speciality beers, speaks to younger consumers and ultimately banks on the image of the umbrella brand: the new ‘Zwickl’, which sets new standards in terms of design, quality and taste.
Paulaner is often held in high regard by consumers, but not loved. This insight already determines the direction that communication must take. Emotion, identification with the product and content specific to the target group are meant to positively influence the image values.
As a large brewery and a well-studied TV brand, the challenge mainly consisted of communicating the product authentically and believably in a suitable way for the target group. This meant bridging the gap between positioning as a classic craft beer – a purely niche product – and the broad mass communication typical of Paulaner campaigns. What’s more, other large breweries are also attempting to position themselves in the market with speciality beers.
For our early-adopter target group, it doesn’t have to be the most exclusive craft beer and the hippest club in Berlin. But they still place importance on individuality and like trying new things.
Break traditional moulds
A classic media campaign would not do justice to this new extraordinary product. Simply communicating the product USPs would not evoke the desired involvement from the target group. The requirements of the media campaign were clearly formulated: not some standard campaign, almost no specifications with regard to creation, and as authentic as the beer itself in order to arouse interest amongst our relatively narrow target group. The most important step was to take a holistic view of media. Which form of content can be portrayed in an extraordinary way and banks on product characteristics such as artisanship and design? How can we find a hook that combines the interests of our target group with our campaign objectives?
Media goes creation
Street art in the form of graffiti. Aesthetic, artisanship, anchored in the scene of the young target group. Precisely those things that Paulaner stands for. But we didn’t just want some predetermined motif to get sprayed onto a wall. We wanted true artists who would create the perfect works of art for their neighbourhoods, and who would become influencers for our product through their art.
Street art provides content
Additionally, the target group was to be taken on a journey – from the first movements of the pencil through to the finished graffiti, also referred to as murals. The art of the street, in connection with the product, has more potential than just to be presented as a mural itself. The content created as part of the development of these extraordinary advertisements was rolled out in other media and in a completely different way than you would expect from classic ad campaigns. Murals as a form of advertisement became the supplier of content for many other advertisements and media channels.
Casting and creative development
Three suitable artists per city were hired. We invited them from Berlin, Hamburg and Munich to a round-table session to sketch up the best possible draft for their city. This session was documented and a jury selected the winning motif.
Social media first
Teaser videos were created immediately following this step. Short loops with time-lapse videos for Instagram and a documentary film with artist interviews were spread throughout social networks.
From paper to the wall
The focus then switched to the creation of the murals. The deadlines were scheduled in such a way that the content created there could be played out over a longer period. In addition to individual motifs for each city, the murals were painted with glowing UV paint in order to generate attention in even at night.
From the wall to the entire city
The broad impact came with the completion of the documentaries on the creation of the murals. Without classic branding elements, we let the photos and videos of the murals speak for themselves. We disseminated them via wild poster placement and info screens during the evening.
From the cities to the entire country
The print campaign began while the content continued to be spread in various social networks like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and many others. And an absolutely innovative Print-Ad highlight at the end of the campaign: one mural was depicted in a double-page ad which could be brought to life by scanning it with Shazam Visual.