Take a good look at the marketing below, you’re going to see it a lot over the coming months. As we revealed a few weeks ago, CUB has launched it’s big, lavishly resourced, play in the beer market for summer, Vic Pale Lager.
In a market awash with ‘crisp sessional lagers’, CUB gives you a ‘super crisp’ sessional lager.
As ever, try it and, if you like it, run with it. That’s the test of a good beer – you liking it. But of course, this beer is not about flavour. If you like the flavour of this beer there are at least a dozen identically tasting beers on the market. This beer will only succeed if you like the branding.
It is always telling in a media release when the person providing the quotes to support the beer is the marketer and not the brewer. Below, the media release provides the full list of ‘client credits’, being the list of CUB marketers responsible for the beer, without a brewer mentioned. Which is fair enough really, this is a beer that will sink or swim solely on the marketing; solely on whether, through their myriad of product focus groups and endless hours of market research, they have identified a big enough marketing segment to which they can convince this generic product is special.
To help them, they have created a distinct bottle, “which draws inspiration from the masculine shape of the traditional stubby, but takes it to a new premium space.” Roy Morgan recently released research that showed that VB was favoured by blokes with an average age of 48, likely to eat Pizza Hut, shop at Autobarn and watch the Footy Show. Judging by the marketing, this is targeted at their marginally aspirational and very unimaginative sons.
At a time when beer sales are falling, this beer adds nothing new to the landscape and offers nothing to bring the legions of departing drinkers back to the beer. It will shuffle a few demographics around the sales charts, possibly at VB’s expense, but not add to the overall numbers. The photo of the ice-covered bottle is probably appropriate; beer has hit an iceberg and Fosters is just re-upholstering the deckchairs on the Titanic.
At its annual general meeting a few weeks ago, CUB Chief Executive John Pollaers blamed the decline in beer sales on low consumer confidence, plus exceptional weather events.
“Consumer confidence and interest rates will be the key variables impacting the performance of the category over the next 12 months,” he said.
We’ve had the interest rates cut and, today at least, the sun is shining. If this ploy to arrest CUB’s – and the category’s – declining fortunes fails, I wonder what will get the blame next time.
I also wonder what would happen if CUB put any significant resources – even a fraction of what they will spend on this dross – behind their Matilda Bay brands which, despite the best efforts of a talented brewing team and plenty of lip service in CUB annual reports, seems to be left to drift without a cohesive marketing plan or even a dedicated sales team. [MK]
CUB launches super crisp Victoria Pale Lager
Thursday November 3rd 2011: Carlton United Brewers (CUB) has launched Victoria Pale Lager. A super-crisp, refreshing beer, Vic Pale is set to become a staple of the summer. It’s a great tasting beer brewed using 100 per cent pale malt, that’s easy-drinking and is served in a unique new bottle.
“Aussie drinkers have been crying out for a really refreshing beer that still delivers on flavour”, said Andy Meldrum, general manager of marketing.
“Vic Pale is the perfect choice to enjoy at the start of the night, when you’re relaxing with your mates and catching up on the week’s events over a few beers.”
Victoria Pale Lager is brewed using 100 per cent pale malt, a variety known for producing fine lagers, combined with fresh green hop characters and subtle aromas, to deliver a quality flavour. It is served in a brilliant new green glass bottle, specially crafted for the new brew, which draws inspiration from the masculine shape of the traditional stubby, but takes it to a new premium space.
The stubby shaped bottle features the Victoria Pale Lager logo embossed into the glass of the bottle. A small neck label has also been added to provide additional information on the beer, complementing the overall design.
“Whether you’re kicking-back in the sun, catching-up with friends or just after a great tasting, easy-drinking beer, then Vic Pale is the answer. The brew is top notch and the bottle is unique; we reckon it will be a big hit with Aussie drinkers,” continued Meldrum.
Super crisp from the first sip, Victoria Pale Lager is lower in carbohydrates than regular beers, and includes no artificial ingredients. It’s a full strength beer with an ABV of 4.4%.
The beer will be launched with an extensive marketing campaign, with a wide-ranging outdoor media buy. Billboards and other outdoor media will command the majority of the marketing spend, along with a comprehensive point-of-sale program. Sampling and PR will support the activity, aiming to build word-of-mouth and ambassadorship for the brew as it hits the shelves.
For more information on the all new Victoria Pale Lager, please visit www.facebook.com/VictoriaPaleLager.
Client: Carlton United Brewers (CUB)
General manager of marketing: Andrew Meldrum
Senior brand manager: Craig MacLean
Brand manager: Mim Orlando
Trade marketing manager: Jo Jericho