Four Pints and Seven Hundred Years Ago

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Nearly seven centuries after brewing first began in its hometown of Leuven, Belgium and almost 80 years after it was first brewed under its current name, Stella Artois is getting a proper digital makeover and historical homage with a revamped, activity-filled website created by Lowe Worldwide. Anchored by the artsy, story-driven introductory film "La Bouteille," the multi-tiled site honoring the brewing year of 1366 navigates into sections like "L'Origine," a continuing chapter into the brewery's 600-year heritage featuring narration from a Master Brewer; a screening room coined "La Publicite" which offers a free ticket to view Stella commercials past and present as well as "Le Defi," (below) an interesting Medieval-styled game that essentially entices you to free a tall, cold Stella from an intricate deathtrap.

But according to Jeremy Hine, Lowe's global business director for Stella parent company InBEV, it is perhaps "Le Courage" that offers the most dramatic, alluring section of the site. "What we've done creatively there is show the lengths that the brew masters went to in getting the best ingredients to produce beer," he explains. "This was the time when there were myths in the world like 'the world was flat' and the 'sun set into the sea.' So, with the courage, the bravery and the dedication of the brew masters to go out into a world when these myths existed to select the best ingredients to make a beer, this is an explanation of [what] they showed in 1366."

The homepage for "Le Courage" (above) in fact features an animated, mythical view of Earth from the time, including the flat surface and oceans dripping into space. Within the section, visitors are told that in order to brew beer to perfection during 1366, they must gather the best ingredients via five challenges including "wrath of the gods" and "the battle of good vs. evil."

With a site so in-depth, the Stella effort required a cross-global effort from Lowe that included its London, Stockholm and South African branches, along with notable production work from companies including Stink, Film de Liberte and Stillking. "It was a big project, a lot of work and a lot of people involved but I think the end result is a very high-production, well-crafted site which fits the value of Stella Artois," says Hine.

While it's a notable name in bars and liquor stores the world over, the overall objective from both Lowe and InBev's is to push it further as a global brand with this campaign. "Stella's currently sold in 83 markets around the world," Hine says. "Some are bigger than others and some are new markets that are developing all the time. This is a great tool for people to access around the world in a more engaging, interactive way so they can live the brand experience." To discuss this article, visit the Creativity Forums.
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