Heritage beer brand Budweiser Budvar wanted to reposition itself globally as the consumer choice for quality lager which was synonymous with Czech brewing culture. Working with UK brand storytelling and content agency Untold, the brand built an integrated campaign around its key positioning statement ‘Greetings from the Republic of Beer’. The multi-channel campaign activated across Budvar’s export markets featured content pillars that shaped a year’s worth of stories that were tailored towards a variety of different audience segments. These behaviour-led segments guided the brand’s optimisation of its content’s format, style and channel to best engage as many global audiences as possible. The campaign helped contribute to the one of the best trading years in Budweiser Budvar’s history. The brand grew 3% globally and outperformed key competitors during the most challenging trading period in recent history.
Objectives & Aims
Untold Agency was briefed to create a global export story and content campaign which raised awareness of the Budweiser Budvar brand as the national brewery of the Czech Republic while promoting the country’s beer culture across its export markets.
The campaign needed to leverage the brand’s heritage story as a beer that has been brewed in the same place and the same way for 125 years, using the same quality ingredients and processes.
Implementation, execution and tactics
The strategy was based around establishing the brand’s core stories and evoking the spirit of the Czech Republic, building a sense of its identity, taste and place in consumers’ minds. The content campaign therefore sought to market the brand not only merely as a product but also as a destination under a new positioning strapline: ‘Greetings from the Republic of Beer’.
The ‘Republic of Beer’ campaign was built around six core content pillars that unpacked the Czech Republic as the home of quality lager, with its national beer, Budweiser Budvar, at its heart. The content pillars focused on Ingredients, Spirit, Time, Pour, Glass and Collaboration. These pillars guided the nature of the content and its format over a 12-month campaign, including the creation of 12 new brand websites in eight languages and 15 films in five languages. A central brand messaging playbook ‘bible’ was also created to ensure that key messages were adapted to fit the culture and dialect of each local market, and its audiences.
For example, the ‘Pour’ and ‘Glass’ pillars led to long-form and short-form films detailing the ritual of pouring Czech lager the correct way, using specially designed glassware created by world renowned Czech artist Rony Plesl. This inspired drinkers to film themselves recreating the experience at home, which fed user-generated content that directly responded to Covid-19 lockdowns. In addition, Czech glassmakers were filmed in their workshops in Prague and featured alongside filmed and written content interviews about the Czech glass industry and how the Budvar glass embodied its history and culture.
Each content pillar was tailored to Budvar’s audience segments, which were broken down by beer drinking behaviours. Consumers who were engaged with beer and the industry connected with more in-depth, technical stories and information, as well as tastings on and offline. More mass market audiences engaged with shorter-form film edits, for example why different glasses are important for different beers.
The campaign was supported by digital advertising, PR and experiential activations in key markets, ranging from the creation of a full-scale, pop-up ‘Republic of Beer’ embassy on London’s South Bank, to influencer product mailouts and curated tastings held by Budvar’s beer ambassador via Zoom.
After the campaign, Budweiser Budvar recorded its best trading year in its 125 year history, particularly in the target export markets. Set against the challenge of the pandemic, the brand grew 3% globally and overtook its main competitor, Pilsner Urquell, to become the most successful export lager from the Czech Republic. Other key results include:
- 1.6 million cross-platform video views
- 22,000 hours of content watched on YouTube
- YouTube watch-through rates of 86% – over three times the 2021 industry average
- 12.9% social engagement – over 10 times the 2021 industry average
- 2+ minutes average web dwell time.
- Winner – FMCG content campaign of the year – European Content Awards 2022