Carlsberg’s road to sincerity has been a long and uncomfortable one, beginning with last year’s acknowledgement that the brand’s pilsner was "probably not" the best beer in the world (in spite of countless claims on the contrary).
However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced Carlsberg to step away from the menacing demeanour of Danish treasure Mads Mikkelsen, relinquishing the frills of Hollywood ambassadors in favour of a desolate bar in Denmark.
Created by Grey Europe, "#AdoptAKeg" outlines the brand’s pub-saving initiative – which asks Danish beer drinkers to support their local bar by scanning Carlsberg cans at home to "fill" their very own keg – all from the perspective of a lonely keg.
It takes a lot to feel sorry for a metal cylinder, but the thought of 50 litres of unloved alcohol sitting by its lonesome is enough to bring a tear to my eye.
Not only did the ad receive support from the Danish Bartender Association, but Carlsberg’s initiative also saw 2,158 virtual kegs created within 48 hours of the campaign’s launch.
And the kegs are just the first step – as life slowly returns to normal and we all emerge from our respective dwellings, unkempt and lacking in vitamin D, Danes who have contributed to the initiative will be treated to two free pints at their bar of choice, on Carlsberg.
The jury is still out on whether Carlsberg’s new formula will embody the bold claims of campaigns past, but has the brand's sincere approach raised the bar for brands during the lockdown? Probably.
Client Julian Marsili, global brand director
Agency Grey Europe
Creative Javier Campopiano, chief creative officer, Europe