Cannes Lions

Change Up the Usual

3PM AGENCY, New York / ABINBEV / 2019

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Overview

Background

844 million people around the world are living without access to clean water. As with any issue this big, it can be difficult for people to know how to get involved. Since 2015, Stella Artois has been working to change that. In partnership with Water.org, we’ve made it easy to make a difference: simply purchasing Stella helps Water.org provide water access to those who need it most. So far we’ve helped over 1.7 million people gain access to clean water, with a goal of reaching 3.5 million people by 2020. In 2019 to help get us even closer to this goal we leveraged the biggest stage in America – the Super Bowl – to inspire people to choose Stella for a good cause. As one of the biggest beer-drinking moments of the year, the landscape was ripe for us to strike with our “choose Stella and feel good” message.

Idea

Our mission: inspire people to change up their usual drink for a good cause. So we identified two of the most recognizable characters in pop culture, beloved by the Stella Artois audience and known for their iconic drinks – Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw and her Cosmo and Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski and his White Russians.

We brought the characters back for the first time in years to show that the simple act of ordering a drink can do good and make an impact… begging the question of people everywhere: if The Dude and Carrie can change up their signature drinks, why can’t you?

To underscore the ease of this switch, we incorporated a final surprise during the live Super Bowl broadcast, airing an edit that also featured Johnathan Goldsmith (better known as Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man) changing up his usual brew for a Stella.

Strategy

Getting involved in an issue as big as the global water crisis can be overwhelming, but Stella and Water.org have made it as easy as the pour of a beer to help. So how do you get people to take notice and choose your beer? By taking your message to the biggest stage there is, the Super Bowl. But even more critical than the audience reached by the game itself, is the consumer behavior that surrounds it: Super Bowl is one of the biggest beer-drinking moments of the year, with 50MM cases sold in the two weeks before the game.

Armed with this behavioral insight, we enlisted The Dude and Carrie Bradshaw, beloved characters known for regularly enjoying two of pop culture’s most iconic signature drinks, to show Americans that following in their footsteps and switching up their “usual” for Stella could help make a big difference this Super Bowl.

Execution

To inspire Americans to take notice and choose Stella, we approached our launch like a movie premiere, sharing-out teaser content to drive anticipation, conversation and action before the big reveal.

Knowing that social conversation drives media coverage, we started there, releasing intriguing content via talent channels pre-Super Bowl to stoke feelings of nostalgia and excitement among fans of Carrie and The Dude. An unbranded remake of the Sex and the City opening scene sparked speculation about Carrie’s return, as did a mysterious, seemingly-unrelated glimpse of The Dude. These brand-free moments injected our content into a pop culture zeitgeist and we quickly worked with editorial contacts to convert organic interest in these characters into Stella-led features, following each teaser with a fully-branded reveal.

Talent interviews further established the cause and call-to-action, making sure our “why” (helping end the global water crisis) was front-and-center alongside excitement about The Dude and Carrie’s return.

Outcome

Overall efforts generated 2,900+ earned stories and 6B+ media impressions, with 88% of earned media placements including two or more program key messages.

Our teaser content “broke the internet” – Washington Post

The campaign increased perceptions of “worth paying more” by +5 index points and “Is different from other brands” by +6 points.

During the game, Stella Artois was the #3 most-talked-about brand on social.

Site traffic to StellaArtois.com/DoGood, increased 77%, and of those visits 60% clicked-through to Water.org’s website to learn more about donating to the cause.

In the Super Bowl period, Stella Artois saw the highest growth in consideration across the entire beer category, including the 6 other brands that advertised during the game.

Purchase frequency of Stella Artois increased 15.1% during 4 weeks post-Super Bowl.

Most importantly, we helped provide water access to 300,000+ people during the campaign period.

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