AB INBEV, New York / ABINBEV / 2021
Stella Artois had a brand perception issue of being seen as too highbrow, inaccessible, and non-relevant to consumers.
Using deep social listening and consumer research to understand what was relevant for our consumers, we found that after a year inside, consumers couldn’t wait to return to normal social life, which for many meant the pub. We knew they wanted to look good coming back, too, with street style eCommerce searches +600%. We saw this as an opportunity to become a relevant and accessible topic.
We briefed our teams to look into fashion partnerships that would achieve our objectives. We wanted to achieve three objectives from this collaboration while preserving our premium equity: improve consumer perception as a relevant brand, drive salience of the brand’s mantra to “savor life together”, and win with our core audience demo of middle to high-income consumers in key Stella markets, i.e. urban, cosmopolitan areas.
Stella Artois collaborated with street-style icon Palace Skateboards to release a limited-edition, co-branded collection of elevated street-style essentials and home bar accessories: PALACE ARTOIS. Inviting you to savor life together, the capsule line takes inspiration from Stella’s visual identity, skateboard culture, and that much-missed hub of British social life: the pub. This return-to-the-pub uniform was designed for thirsty consumers to enjoy Stellas in style safely from wherever they were.
Collaborating with Palace solved Stella’s three key objectives. Firstly, despite Palace's edgier branding unexpected from Stella, their European heritage & deep roots in pub culture brought a modern relatability. Secondly, their tight-knit skate community redefined Stella’s “savor life together” mantra through a fresh lens. Lastly, their devoted urban audience drove relevancy for Stella across the brand’s target cosmopolitan base.
The limited-edition collection includes ready-to-wear matching sets, featuring printed canvas chore jackets and pants, Oxford shirts, swim shorts, towelling hoodies, t-shirts, bucket-hats and a leather tote bag, card holder and wallet. For premium in-home enjoyment, PALACE ARTOIS is topped off with a one-of-a-kind chalice, coasters, and beer head skimmers.
To launch this collection as a surprise globally, we first teased the co-branded chalice on social media to drive social conversation and suspense around the collaboration. Then, we released a co-branded film and wave of unique, disruptive stunts to drive earned media, including building a secret speak-easy into the back of Palace’s London skate shop, launching a 6-page editorial spread in leading London streetstyle magazine The Face, and a Times Square stunt, where PALACE ARTOIS skateboarders to surf through traffic and our OOH takeover.
In less than seven minutes, the collection sold-out globally, driving the highest traffic ever to Palace’s European site, and now retails on secondary markets for 70x its original price.
The work earned +165 PR stories in major fashion publications like Vanity Fair, GQ, Hypebeast, & i-D Magazine. The consumer engagement drove over 25,000 data records collected and 99.9% positive sentiment online, raving that “PALACE ARTOIS is the fashion collection I didn’t know I’ve always needed”.
Most importantly, the collection achieved Stella’s 3 objectives for this collaboration by statistically significantly increasing our core consumers’ perception of Stella as a relevant, premium brand meant for savoring together.