Steinlager Pure – Keep it Pure

Category: New Product or Service Introduction
Agency: Publicis Mojo
Advertiser: Lion Nathan
Campaign: Steinlager Pure – Keep it Pure
Steinlager was New Zealand's number one premium brand, but with Heineken and a multitude of other European brands entering the market, its position had deteriorated.
The agency uncovered a number of issues that were holding Steinlager back; it was clear that more than a new advertising campaign would be required. Extensive consumer research conducted by the agency provided a positioning for a new brand based around Purity. A beer of uncompromising purity with an attitude to match. An iconic campaign featuring Harvey Keitel bought the positioning to life. The result; a campaign that redefined the premium category, exceeded every benchmark set, and helped Steinlager Pure take a 3.3% share of the total beer category in its first year.
This campaign also won Publicis Mojo a Gold EFFIE for New Product or Service Introduction and a silver for Return on Investment.

Steinlager had baggage including urban myths about chemicals and hangovers, an aging drinker image, a poor social image and an unclear product positioning.
The agency and client together reached the conclusion that no matter how great, or inspiring a piece of communication produced, it wasn't going to overcome all of these barriers. The issue was confronted head on with a new beer.
1. Business Objectives

Create a new product that would:
a) Achieve 1% volume sales of the total beer category. (This objective was based on analysis of other premium beer launches.)
b) Achieve and maintain a price premium over European beers (in particular Heineken)
(“Steinlager sells at $20 for a 15 pack, you could never charge $25 for a dozen” – Trade customer)
c)Provide a platform to return the Steinlager brand back to leadership of the premium beer category within three years
Measured by total Steinlager sales (e.g. Existing Steinlager + new Steinlager)
d) To do this with minimal cannibalisation of the existing Steinlager brand
2. Marketing & Communications Objectives
a. Build a base of adorers
Lion measure loyalty by using an adoration scale. The ultimate is to be an 'Adorer' defined as 'This is the only brand I drink' or 'Almost always the first brand I consider, but also drink others'.
The benchmark Lion aims for is 8% across all brands – it was expected a new brand would take two years to achieve this.
b. Communicate that the new Steinlager is;

  • really different from other premium brands

  • worth paying more for

  • a beer you can drink all night

  • a high quality brand

New Zealanders with a hunger for a bright, vibrant and ambitious future.
25 to 35 years, primarily male.
The creative needed to communicate why Steinlager Pure is different and why it's worth paying more for.
The answer lies in the combination of the rational (the purity / NZ ingredients story) and the emotional (a pure / uncompromising approach to life). From the bottle to the advertising, the purity message was supreme. The uncompromising approach and Steinlager's international status were realised in the Harvey Keitel TVC which perfectly balanced the rational and emotional message.
Public Relations, Point of Sale
The media strategy incorporated television, metrolights and magazines to provided a high profile launch without compromising the important premium brand credentials, reaching premium drinkers at home and at play with a distinctive and engaging presence.

TV, Cinema, Print, Outdoor, Point of purchase
$2 million to $3 million
The campaign:

  • exceeded the two year sales targets in the first six months achieving 3.3% of the total beer category

  • maintained a price premium

  • provided a platform to return the Steinlager brand to leadership

  • has been hailed as a business success

  • built a base of 'adorers'

  • has been good for Steinlager classic

Chart 1: 3 Month Volume Share of Steinlager and Heineken in National Supermarkets (Jun 07 – Mar 08)

Steinlager trademark has equalled the volume share in supermarkets of Heineken in two of the last three quarters due to the launch of Steinlager Pure. Note that there is no cannibalisation of Steinlager Classic.
NB. Supermarket data is used as this is the only channel where Lion & Heineken comparative data is available.
Source: Lion Nathan / Nielsen

Chart 2: Premium Brand Image

Mainstream agencies make a bid for digital business

David Benady
2009 could be a make or break year for mainstream UK advertising agencies. Total spend on UK internet advertising - dominated by search - is poised to overtake that of television advertising and, in the midst of a recession, bigger agencies face mounting pressure to show that they have the digital skills and mindsets to compete with online specialists.
From BMB's iPint mobile phone game promoting Carling lager to TBWA\London's spoof online sport backing the launch of the Nissan Qashqai, traditional advertising agencies have shown they can display creativity outside television and print. But will the bigger agencies be able to turn out a consistent flow of digital branding campaigns to rival specialists such as Glue, Dare and Poke? Worryingly for the agencies, some brands are dispensing with their long-standing ad agency relationships altogether and bringing in digital specialists.
Last year 3, the mobile phone operator, moved its entire £28m UK advertising account out of ad agency Euro RSCG into digital specialist Glue London which will oversee both on and off line advertising. At the time of writing, ad agencies are keenly awaiting Glue's new work on 3 to see whether the agency is as adept at offline marketing as it has been at the online variety.
These will be testing times for the ad agencies and the effectiveness of the agency structures they have put in place to embrace the online world.
Among leading UK agencies, there is no single blueprint for how to organise their business to get a greater share of digital budgets. One path is to set up a separate digital unit and populate it with online marketing specialists. In the past two years, McCann Erickson London has established McCann Digital and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R has set up Saint.
An alternative and increasingly popular strategy is to pursue an integrated approach of hiring online specialists and incorporating them into existing account teams. This allows the agencies to boast that they are digital to their core rather than offering online expertise as an optional add-on.
The UK's biggest agency, AMV.BBDO, has adopted this approach along with others such as BBH. Delaney Lund Knox Warren opted for the integrated path when it disbanded its specialist unit, DLKW Dialogue, and slotted its specialisms into the main agency.
One critic of this approach says it can be stifling for digital specialists working with creatives and planners that, they would claim, do not fully understand digital and its working practices. Digital staff, transplanted in this way, may feel that they won't learn from their peers in ways they would if they were operating in a specialist agency.
"Above-the-line creatives often don't want to dirty their hands with online because they have their hands full with TV ads," this critic says.
However, integrationists say the advantage of their method is that digital specialists are tasked with explaining digital and educating the rest of the agency about new media. Either way, brand owners still need convincing that the successful online campaigns created by mainstream agencies - such as BMB's iPint, BBH's work for Axe/Lynx and CHI's online strategy for Carphone Warehouse, the european mobile retailer - are more than isolated examples.
"The real currency of today is innovation," says RKCR/Y&R chief executive Richard Exon. "Every agency and every brand is trying to do something they haven't done before. That wasn't happening ten years ago when each agency - direct marketing, media or ad agency - was trying to excel in its specialisation."
This blurring of the demarcation lines between marketing services businesses is pitting every agency into competition with each other. One problem ad agencies need to overcome is clients' wariness of handing work to ad agencies' digital off-shoots as clients fear a digital relationship may be used as a battering ram to get the entire advertising business of the client in question.
This is the view of Juliet Blackburn, business director at AAR, which matches clients and agencies. She also warns that some agencies are less than honest about their interactive capabilities. Blackburn says: "I have a problem if agencies are masking their capabilities, saying they are doing everything online when they are actually sub-contracting to specialists. I like transparency in digital delivery."
Perhaps the biggest challenge for ad agencies is to realise that the digital world is much faster moving than TV advertising. A brand such as Guinness may create one blockbuster ad a year, scoop all the awards and then start work on the next big idea.
As one agency insider says of digital campaigns like BMB's iPint: "It is a one-off, a tactical, throw-away creation, a nice-enough little thing. But digital creativity has a much shorter life span than broadcast. Production and media costs are lower so there are lots of small things happening very often."
Campaign examples
The Molson Coors lager brand, Carling, paid just £31,000 to create
iPint, the Apple iPhone's most downloaded free application of 2008. The iPint game, created for Carling by its UK ad agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay, soared to the top of the iPhone free download charts within a week of its launch in July 2008. Only £16,000 was spent developing the game while Carling shelled out just £15,000 from its PR budget to promote the application online.
However, it could end up costing agency BMB much more than this, after US developer Hottrix threatened to launch a $12.5m lawsuit against the brewer for stealing its own game on the iPhone called iBeer, for which it charged downloaders $3 per download. After complaints from Hottrix, Apple removed iPint from its US download store, though it is still available to users in other countries. At the time of writing, the dispute has yet to be resolved.
Once iPint is downloaded to an iPhone, users can play a simple game on the phone's screen. Using the iPhone's "accelerometer" which detects motion, you slide a pint of Carling down the bar avoiding obstacles on the way by tilting the phone to deliver the glass into a mate's hands.
You are rewarded with an "iPint", a virtual pint of Carling. As the iPint is poured, the iPhone's screen fills as if it were a pint glass. The virtual beer acts just like a real liquid, and you can "drink" the lager as you tilt the phone. BMB says it developed iPint to fit in with Carling's brand idea of bringing friends together. The iPint is a way for people to show off their iPhones to their friends in the pub, giving them "bragging rights".
There were two stages in testing the technology. The game was constructed on a PC-based emulator to de-bug the code and then it was tested on the SDK platform - the software development kit provided by Apple to create iPhone applications. The idea was created by BMB's digital creative director Jon Williams - now creative director at Grey - working with art director Dom Martin. A team was assembled from across the agency and Carling's digital departments. Technical fulfilment was outsourced to Swedish company Illusion Labs which specialised in visualising liquid motion on mobile.
Nissan Qashqai
Launching a new car across 14 European countries with a limited marketing budget requires some imaginative thinking. To support Nissan's introduction of the Qashqai sports utility vehicle-style hatchback, ad agency TBWA invented spoof online sport "
Qashqai car games" to create a pre-launch buzz and establish the model's "urban proof" positioning. You can read a full case study on the Euro Effie winning campaign here.
The Car Games website features drivers performing some unlikely stunts with their Qashqais and allows users to follow teams and drivers. This was backed up with experiential activity, such as a road-show across European cities. The site has been viewed by nearly 20 million people and TBWA says it is evidence of the way ad agencies can use their planning and creative skills to solve brand problems.
"The advantage ad agencies have over digital specialists is that we tend to have lead relationships with clients, and we are called in a little earlier and on a more strategic long term basis," says TBWA\London planning director Tom Morton, who worked on the Qashqai launch.
"Nissan gave us a problem to fix - a new vehicle in a hard-to-understand category that needs as much familiarity as possible before launch. It is a classic communications challenge at which ad agencies excel, rather than just being asked to create a new ad execution," he says.
The agency came back with the idea of positioning Qashqai as a versatile urban vehicle and using different media to express this idea creatively. TV and print ads were created by TBWA's Paris office, leaving TBWA\London to oversee the digital activity. For this, it worked with specialist online companies such as viral marketing company GoViral. The positioning was created by TBWA\London's Nissan planner, account director and creative on the business working together. Lloyds TSB Savvysaver
As the credit crunch worsened in 2008, Lloyds TSB, the UK banking group, briefed its agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R to come up with some engaging ideas to capture the mood of the nation in the new straitened times. Lloyds wanted to show it was in tune with the public's new money-saving ethos.
The agency's digital arm, Saint, hit on the idea of creating a website offering money saving tips under the title savvysaver. This would enable Lloyds to position itself as a trustworthy source of information and a company that can help people.
Lloydstsbsavvysaver.com offers dozens of tips grouped under headings such as holidays, motoring and transport and food and dining. But the most striking point for agencies is that the digital strategy became the basis for a TV ad.


The ad uses the animated characters from Lloyds TSB's existing "For the journey" series of TV executions. They are featured trying out bizarre ways of saving money, such as showering in the rain or putting a hamster on a treadmill to create electricity. The ad signs off by directing viewers to the savvysaver website where they can find more realistic ways of saving "hundreds of pounds".
The second phase of Savvysaver plans to add Web 2.0 services such as user-generated content and social networking. Users will be able to swap money-saving tips and report back on their experiences. Account teams from Saint and the main agency have worked simultaneously on strategies for Lloyds TSB in their respective offices but meet regularly to review their ideas together.
RKCR/Y&R chief executive Richard Exon says savvysaver is evidence that an agency benefits from having a digital off-shoot close at hand.
"Digital and above-the-line can work both ways. The best approach for ad agencies is having an element of separation and an element of integration, working together but separately. The beauty of being in the same building is that you can achieve that."

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