The Let There Be Beer initiative, which kicks off today, features a tie-up with Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch show, a TV ad to launch this Saturday, and a PR stunt that will see images of beer projected on to major UK landmarks such as the white cliffs of Dover, which is planned for next week.
The campaign originated from a meeting between the CEOs of AB InBev, Heineken, Molson Coors, Carlsberg and SABMiller 18 months ago in which they discussed how to reignite the beer category in key markets such as the UK.
All five have contributed different levels of investment but each has put in “a large amount”. The total level of investment is being kept under wraps.
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Society of Independent Brewers and the British Beer & Pub Association are also on board, although they are understood not to have contributed funds at this stage.
“We cannot watch this amazing category decline year-on-year any longer,” said Inge Plochaet, president of AB InBev UK & Ireland.
“The UK is an important market and we want to work together to make people fall in love with beer again.”
The move was inspired by a decade-long campaign in Spain, which saw the category return to growth.
Its success in the UK, however, will be measured not just in terms of sales but primarily in terms of consumers’ views of the category.
“We are all adamant that this is a long-term, multi-year campaign,” said Plochaet. “We want to create a positive image of beer. We want it to be a drink people see as young, dynamic, vibrant and relevant. That is the primary indicator of success.”