Agency: Lowe Worldwide London
Lowe can't use the U.K.'s popular Stella campaign for international markets because its positioning is different
Stella Artois presented Lowe Worldwide London with a big challenge in January, when it handed the agency its global account as a reward for Lowe's world-famous "reassuringly expensive" U.K. campaign.
In some markets, Stella is a mid-priced lager, so the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency had to come up with a new strategy for the rest of the world. So Lowe introduced the tagline, "Cherish a glass of Stella Artois" and devised a campaign that focuses on the precise pouring ritual that is an important part of Stella's identity in many markets.
In Canada, for instance, bars are not permitted to stock Stella until staff members have been on a training course in correct pouring techniques.
Lowe's first global campaign launches this month with eight spots featuring an older barman instructing his earnest young apprentice on how to pour the perfect glass of Stella.
Although the apprentice pours a perfect glass every time, the barman continually sabotages his efforts - he blows on the froth, or criticizes the temperature, or changes the positioning of the beer mat - so that he can "reject" the beer and drink it himself.
Matt Edwards, the Stella account director at Lowe, said, "Flexibility is important for a global campaign. The ads could be used to top and tail breaks, or a different execution could be shown each week." The campaign may run in the U.S. once Interbrew-owned Stella is more established as a brand.
Lowe's U.K. spots for Stella are almost guaranteed Gold Lion winners every year at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes, a tough act for the new international work to follow.