Foster‘s Promo, Case study STRONGBOW WELCOMES SUMMER by District Agency, Liquid Ideas

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STRONGBOW WELCOMES SUMMER

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Industry Beers and Ciders, Alcohol-free beer and Ciders
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Australia
Agency District Agency
Director David Strong
Agency Liquid Ideas
Released December 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Consumer Goods, including FMCG and Household Products
Advertiser: FOSTER'S
Product/Service: CIDER
Agency: LIQUID IDEAS
Agency: DISTRICT AGENCY
Managing Director: Stuart Gregor (Liquid Ideas)
Senior Pr Account Manager: Allira Carroll (Liquid Ideas)
Account Executive: Lucy Curtin (Liquid Ideas)
Director: David Strong (District Agency)
Event Producer: Carly Heard (District Agency)
Technical Director/Production Designer: Kent Johnston (District Agency)
Executive Producer: Josh Cilento (Miller Cilento Entertainment)
Digital And Design Manager: Louise Lynch (Liquid Ideas)
Account Director: Charmaine Glase (Liquid Ideas)
Media placement: Influencer Engagement - - 14 October - 5 December 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - Countdown To Start Of Summer - Everguide.com.au, Twitter - 14 October - 30 November 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Media Alert About Event - MXSydney, Dailytelegraph.com.au, Bondi FM, Everguide.com.au - 29 November 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - Facebook Page Set Up - MXSydney - 29 November 2011
Media placement: Event - Neon Stunt - FuelTV, Seven News Etc. - 30 November 2011
Media placement: Event - Influencer Party - Thevine.com.au, Pedestrian.com.au, Ninetofive.com.au Etc. - 30 November 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Media Outreach About Campaign - Daily Telegraph, Dailytelegraph.com.au, Nine News, Ten News, Fuel TV Etc. - 1 December 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - Content Seeding Of YouTube Video - Dailymail.co.uk, Theguardian.co.uk, BBC Europe, CBS News, CNNGo Etc. - 1 December 2011

Summary of the Campaign
The cider category was in massive growth, but Strongbow, the market leader, was in decline, looking dated and feeling uncool. We needed to regain momentum, get 18-35-year-olds to embrace us so as to arrest the sales decline.

Our strategy was focused on 'owning' summer – Strongbow’s key cider-sales time. We decided to celebrate the start of summer by doing something at the ultimate representation of summer in Australia, the beach.

No brand 'owned' the official start to summer – December 1st. The campaign began with a 50-days-to-summer countdown. Then we staged Australia’s largest neon surf-stunt at Bondi on summer’s eve, threw a cracking party for 300 influencers, filmed both, ensured the viral campaign was in place and ensured everyone knew about it within 24 hours of December 1st.

The results speak for themselves:
* AUS$1.92m increase in value sales - YOY = 10.3 per cent increase (Nov-Dec 2011 v Nov-Dec 2010);
* Strongbow drinkers grew by 131%, 72% faster than the growth of the total cider category;
* 185 media-clips including media coverage on every major free-to-air news bulletin in Sydney, online, major metropolitan newspapers and international coverage, equating to 32.5m in readership/viewership;
* 433,000 + views on YouTube of the 3-inute video and 414 comments;
* 2nd-most-viewed YouTube video in Australia during its first week online;
* The YouTube link was shared over 2,500 times on Twitter.

The Situation
Strongbow has been Australia’s number one cider brand for 40 years with little or no promotion because it has been the only one available. In 2010/11 for reasons as diverse as a taxation change, international trends and consumer taste evolution, the cider category began to explode – craft ciders, international brands and Aussie wannabes came at Strongbow from every angle. Strongbow was out of touch, uncool, old hat. It was in decline while cider was the fastest growing alcohol category in the country. Summer 2011/12 was fast approaching and Strongbow needed to regain its lost mojo, it had to 'own' summer, right from the start.

The Goal
The business objective was simple, make a cider brand that had been around for 40+ years relevant to the 24-35 year olds (secondary target was 18-24) who were taking to cider like surfers to a Bondi break; reignite Strongbow’s brand-equity-measures; get sales back into growth; be active at the start of summer; and disrupt the cider scene with something unexpected from Strongbow and something that would mark it out as the leader in the category.

The brief had the following directive: Change consumer’s perception of the brand from placid, sombre, English/Irish, traditional/suburban to summer, contemporary, social, lively, optimistic, Australian, urban.

The Strategy
The insight was as follows: If you want to 'own' summer in Australia you have to 'own' the beach in some way. No brand 'owned' the official start to summer – December 1st. The strategy began to take shape – what could we do that could capture attention, be eminently scalable, go viral, be relevant and get Strongbow on everybody’s lips (literally) as the summer arrived?

So what if we went surfing, in neon wetsuits, on the eve of summer, at Bondi beach, and threw a big party and fireworks, got a super cool guy to film it, focussed on mass-media exposure, got the film online within 24 hours and made it so good it would go global within the day?

To help build credibility, legendary surfing cinematographers, Jack McCoy, Eugene Tan and Bali Strickland, were engaged to create the content which had to bring to life the idea that ‘Strongbow captures that summer-holiday spirit’ and communicate that it is ‘best shared with friends’.

Execution

Media outreach to key influencers from the media began 50 days out with a countdown to summer. We stayed deliberately mysterious.

We created the Twitter #strongbowsummer to start the conversation early, directly engaged with key influencers through Twitter pre-, during- and post-summer’s eve.

Created the official Strongbow Facebook page to share content and create a community.

Placed a story on page 3 of Sydney’s metro daily the day before summer’s eve and included the Facebook page and Twitter to help draw the crowd of hundreds lining the beach.

Organised a party at Bondi Icebergs for 300 of Sydney’s key influencers in this space who ripped into the new Strongbow variants and danced to our coolest DJs.

Got the surfers in the water, shot the film, edited the footage and seeded the content to 200,000 target consumers and 700 influencers across media, entertainment and lifestyle.

Documented Results
AUS$1.92m increase in value sales YOY = 10.3% increase (Nov-Dec 2011 v Nov-Dec 2010).

The number of Strongbow-drinkers grew by 131%, 72% faster than the growth of the total cider category.

185 media clips including media coverage on every major free-to-air news-bulletin in Sydney, online, major metropolitan newspapers and international coverage, equating to 32.5 million in readership/viewership.

433,000+ views on YouTube of the 3-minute video and 414 comments.

It was the 2nd-most-viewed YouTube video in Australia during its first week online.

The YouTube link was shared over 2,500 times on Twitter.

What the client said: “We gave a challenging PR brief and I have never seen a team work so hard on delivering perfection to every element of the campaign. We were ecstatic with the outcome and they delivered over and above all expectations.”