For over 30 years, Carlsberg promoted itself as "Probably the best beer in the world" in a now iconic campaign. But now, the Danish brew is subverting that line for a rebrand in which it goes for an honest approach and admits it's "probably not the best beer in the world."
The product has been completely reformulated and is being supported by a 20 million pound U.K. campaign by creative agency Fold7 that includes print, outdoor and digital activations breaking this week, with TV to follow in May.
The "Probably" slogan was launched on broadcast ads in 1973 created by U.K. agency KMP, with a voiceover spoken by Orson Welles. However, it was abandoned in 2011, partly because consumers in markets such as Russia and Asia did not understand it, in favor of "That calls for a Carlsberg."
Carlsberg U.K.'s VP marketing, Liam Newton, says in a statement: "At Carlsberg UK, we lost our way. We focused on brewing quantity, not quality; we became one of the cheapest, not the best. In order to live up to our promise of being ‘probably the best beer in the world’, we had to start again."
“Today, the value of brand honesty to consumers is more powerful than ever," says Fold7 Managing Partner, James Joice. "But it is still rare to see brands hold their hands up when they don't live up to their promise. Carlsberg has not only been brave enough to do this, but have done something about it."