However, as niche beers flirt with the masses in an attempt to enter the mainstream market, is it enough to rely on foreign origins as their main selling point?
San Miguel recently launched a £4 million advertising blitz based around its "passion beyond reason" positioning. In the brand's biggest advertising push to date, Harrison Troughton Wunderman has created a multimedia campaign, delivering a fresh creative concept.
Steve Harrison, a creative partner at HTW, explains: "Our brief was simple.
San Miguel is the quintessential Spanish beer. However, there was a dichotomy in brand identity, with some consumers associating the brand with the Costas and some with the more stylish, emergent destinations of Barcelona and Madrid. We needed to position San Miguel clearly in the authentic Spain, a place where people are willing to take their passions beyond reason."
The campaign includes cinema, TV idents, poster, press and broadcast sponsorship of Sky Sports coverage of Spanish football. A 60-second film was shot in a remote village north of Barcelona and tells the story of a young visitor's encounter with a ghostly Spanish beauty, Ines de Castro.
"Our target consumers are sophisticated and intelligent, so we knew we had to make a commercial that intrigued and challenged as well as informed," Sharon Annette, the marketing manager for the premium lagers at Scottish Courage, says.
Hotspots were identified that allowed San Miguel to reach urban dwellers aged between 25 and 34 with live events, created by Avison. San Miguel's Spanish Fiesta, which started on 7 October in Clerkenwell, runs over two weeks covering areas such as Shoreditch, Notting Hill, Soho and the Northcote Road in Clapham. Outdoor poster sites, bought by Portland Outdoor, will run alongside the urban San Miguel outlets until the end of October.
Andrew Jack, the brand manager at San Miguel, says: "Street theatre is the perfect format to allow our consumers to experience authentic Spanish passion, while tying together the other, more traditional above-the-line elements of the campaign."
The campaign includes a six-sheet poster push and ads in the style press, one showing the scarred torso of a bullfighter, another the bleeding, bandaged feet of a Flamenco dancer. Print ads will run alongside bar listings in Time Out, City Life in Manchester, City Living in Birmingham, The Crack in Newcastle and The List in Scotland.
Client: Scottish Courage
Media: TV, cinema, outdoor, broadcast sponsorship on Sky
Agencies: Harrison Troughton Wunderman, Starcom Motive, Portland
Media idea: Reposition San Miguel as the beer that epitomises the
passion of authentic, aspirational Spain, and the Spanish way of life