Carlsberg takes 'modest' route to promote pilsner

Campaign continues 'Probably' brand positioning.

Carlsberg: ad 'humbly' compares brand with Stella Artois and Peroni
Carlsberg: ad 'humbly' compares brand with Stella Artois and Peroni

Carlsberg has taken a break from its self-deprecating strategy with a tongue-in-cheek campaign to promote Carlsberg Export.

Created by Fold7 and in keeping with the brand’s "Probably" strapline, the outdoor activity hails Carlsberg as "probably the most modest beer in the world" and claims that "most drinkers" prefer the taste of Carlsberg Export to competitors Stella Artois and Peroni.

The £1.5m campaign launched yesterday (6 February) and spans out-of-home, print, digital and social media activity, alongside music partnerships including Latitude, Reading and Download festivals. The media agency is Initiative.

"The Carlsberg Export brand is modest by tradition, but we decided now is the right time to make a bold claim like we did for Carlsberg Danish Pilsner," Alastair Porter, senior brand manager for Carlsberg Expørt, said.

Carlsberg: ad claims brand is

"From consumer taste tests, we know that most drinkers prefer Carlsberg Export [according to an independently conducted blind taste test conducted in December]. Therefore, the aim of our new campaign is to let premium lager drinkers know that there is great Carlsberg beer for them and humbly suggest they try it."

The fact that Carlsberg Export outperforms Stella Artois in taste tests was first used in an ad campaign in 2015.

Last year, Carlsberg made waves when the brand said it was "probably not" the best beer in the world, completely disregarding the message of campaigns past. Mads Mikkelsen featured in an ad making this declaration, along with a spot tha saw staff reading mean tweets about the brand.

Its efforts saw Carlsberg shortlisted for The Marketing Society's Brave Brand of the Year, ultimately missing out on the top spot to Cancer Research UK’s "Obesity is a cause of cancer too" campaign.

Porter continued: "Consumers are demanding quality plus premium experiences. We know that we have an excellent tasting, quality brew where drinkers not only prefer the taste – they also agree that Carlsberg Export is more refreshing, is smoother and has more depth of flavour. 

"Our ‘Probably the most modest beer in the world’ campaign provides us with a platform to communicate our taste credentials and connect with consumers in Carlsberg’s unique, witty way."

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