Carlsberg's San Miguel considers itself an experience brand and is expanding that concept with its flagship Somerset House terrace location. Having previously been involved with partnership and experiential events such as the "Find your rich" experiment, the brand wanted the opportunity to increase consumer interaction.
Dharmesh Rana, director of marketing for world beer at Carlsberg UK, said: "We wanted to give our drinkers and people that like the brand something to actually experience physically. Rather than just telling people to go away and have this amazing experience, how do you intrinsically have this experience with us as a brand?
"Part of this was very much about having something that’s got longevity to it – so the fact that we're here, we’ve been here since the end of March and we’ll be here until the end of September, and we’ll be back again next summer as well – that’s part of the strategy."
San Miguel feels that partnering an iconic location such as Somerset House will give its sales team not just an opportunity to grow its distribution footprint in London but to also target visitors who align with its products due to its exploratory nature.
The beer brand is promoting a philosophy that you become rich through experience. As Rana explained: "The things that you discover, the things that you do, the people that you meet, the food that you eat and the beer that you drink."
Food is a key part of the summer activation, with dishes created to complement the beers on offer. Each month, a London chef will design a dish to pair with a beverage; Neil Rankin of Temper is creating a Currywurst flatbread that’s suited to the San Miguel Munich beer throughout June.
Over the summer, San Miguel will also have a presence at festivals such as Wilderness, a partnership with Classic Ibiza and various activities at the San Miguel Villa in Ibiza for consumers and influencers. Heading into the winter months, San Miguel will turn its focus to San Miguel Selecta product, launched in the UK last year, whose richer, heavier nature makes it more aligned to cooler weather.
Rana said: "We’re in conversations with another partner right now and one of the reasons we're talking to them is a real activation platform over the cooler months of the year so it gives us a real good complementary set of assets to talk to the consumers and keep the brand fresh and interesting."
The Somerset House terrace will be open until September. The partnership was created and secured by Fuse. Pablo is handling social and creative amplification, Initiative is handling media, while Clifford French is the influencer agency.