Kronenbourg pushes premium lager

Scottish Courage is intensifying the competition in the "designer lager" market with advertising for a new Kronenbourg premium brew to challenge the Stella Artois "reassuringly expensive" campaign.

M&C Saatchi has produced the national press campaign for Kronenbourg Premier Cru, a luxury lager that Scottish Courage aims to turn into the "Champagne" of the beer sector.

The message is underlined in a trio of executions, all of which feature the product being drunk in indulgent situations in the South of France.

In one, a man is seen drinking in the back of a chauffeur-driven classic Daimler on the Croisette in Cannes. In another, the drinker is featured in the garden of a luxurious Cote d'Azur villa. In the third, the man enjoys Premier Cru aboard a speeding motor boat.

All the ads appear with the tongue-in-cheek line: "Serving suggestion." Matt Eastwood, the agency's creative director, said: "We wanted the audience to respond with a wry smile and a knowing nod."

The ads were written by Tom Spicer, art directed by Sergio Martin and shot by Jake Walters.

MediaVest is buying media for the campaign, which begins next Saturday and will run throughout the summer in an attempt to win over discerning drinkers aged between 25 and 35.

Premier Cru, launched in off-licences last month, reflects Scottish Courage's attempt to exploit the growth in consumers who have interest in speciality beers but who want the reassurance of a well-known brand.

Nick Hurrell, M&C Saatchi's joint chief executive, said: "Premier Cru is actually an attempt to go 'super premium' and to present it as a more contemporary alternative to Stella, which is still in Jean De Florette territory."