NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Anheuser-Busch InBev is rolling out more new advertising, this time a global TV campaign for Stella Artois directed by cult filmmakers Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola.
Prior to its acquisition of A-B, InBev had long positioned Stella Artois, which is distributed in some 80 countries, as a as a premium Belgian beer. Jorn Socquet, global brand director for Stella Artois and Beck's at A-B InBev, describes the target demographic as "unisex" consumers who are well-educated, have slightly higher income and value ambition. To appeal to that audience, the brewer brought in two directors with bona fide indie credentials and a knack for creating distinct worlds
In the first TV commercial -- a 60-second spot that broke in the U.S. before it rolls out to other markets, including the U.K. and Argentina -- a young man brings a date home to his a '60s-era European apartment, replete with a console that controls the lighting, furniture and televisions. But as she tinkers with the remote controls, the system goes haywire. She's then swallowed by his revolving sofa and replaced with a just-poured Stella Artois. The girl calls out the guy's name from inside the sofa but he thinks it's the beer speaking, to which he replies, "Mon amour!"
|Stella Artois: Apartomatic|
The ad closes with the tagline "She Is a Thing of Beauty," adopted under independent agency Mother, which replaced Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe in 2008 as the lead creative agency. The move ended a 25-year relationship between Stella Artois and the agency.
Mr. Socquet said the storyline for the ad conceived by Mother and then executed by the directors, whose work together includes the 2007 film "The Darjeeling Limited." Said Mr. Socquet: "They brought the look and feel of the sixties, the vision of the hero and the woman, the casting and the wardrobe."
"We were really happy to have Wes and Roman on board," Gustavo Sousa, global creative director at Mother, said in a statement. We wanted to set this brand and this film in a 1960s French film world and there's a lot of that influence in Wes' work. Also, Roman is a gadgets fanatic, so it was truly the best combination of talent to direct this commercial."
Mr. Coppola has recently been spending more time doing commercial work, such as his recent iPad App demo for The New Yorker magazine featuring actor Jason Schwartzman and a fragrance spot for Chloe featuring model Raquel Zimmermann. For Mr. Anderson, it's the first commercial he's done since a series he did in 2007 for AT&T and its agency, BBDO.
Mr. Socquet said the work is part of a mission under his watch for all "the creative we put in front of consumers to strike an emotional chord and get under the skin of consumers." Mother and Stella are already at work on a special campaign for the holidays, which will break first in print next month, then on TV and in digital executions and events in December.
The moves come as A-B InBev has lots of new work in development as it tries to elevate the level of its creative advertising across its brand portfolio, which includes Budweiser, Beck's, Hoegaarden and Leffe. It recently began running fresh creative for Budweiser by new agency Anomaly, and a range of shops are currently pitching Super Bowl ideas to the beer maker.