Cannes Lions

VB Solar

CLEMENGER BBDO , Melbourne / CARLTON & UNITED BREWERIES / 2021

Awards:

2 Bronze Cannes Lions
1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

For over 165 years, Victoria Bitter (VB) has rewarded the hard-earned thirst of Aussies who have had the sun beating down on their backs. It’s a classic beer brand that’s synonymous with traditional Aussie worksite culture and often negatively associated with Australian values of old.

To address this, we needed to find a way to inject VB into contemporary conversation, whilst staying true to the brands enduring positioning of ‘rewarding hard work’.

Having become the first Australian beer brand to be powered by 100% offset solar energy, VB wanted to take its commitment to renewable energy one step further by making the sun work hard for its loyal fans.

The brief:

Continue to modernise the VB brand by making VB’s commitment to renewable energy relevant and engaging to everyday Australians.

Objectives:

1. Positive consumer sentiment and widespread conversation around VB’s solar initiative.

2. Increase interest in the brand.

3. Gain domestic and international earned media coverage.

Idea

If there’s two things Australia has in abundance, it’s sunshine and beer...

On the 31st March 2021, VB launched the Solar Exchange, a ‘peer to beer’ energy exchange program that sees Aussies able to exchange their excess solar energy for cases of VB.

Usually households with solar panels sell their unused solar back into the energy grid for a fixed price. Solar Exchange provides them with an alternative choice as to how they can benefit from their excess energy.

For participants, every $30 of excess solar energy accumulated will earn them a case of VB delivered to their door. As VB fans would know, that’s a much better option than paying the recommended retail price of $57. With the typical Aussie household earning around $60-90 per quarter from their excess, they can roughly earn around two to three cases per quarter.

A win for beer lovers and for the environment.

Strategy

To launch VB’s Solar Exchange, we knew we needed to present the coming together of two categories at opposite ends of the spectrum - beer and solar energy - and importantly, tie in the consumer benefit of the program.

Our key messaging was led with a simple statement: Swap Solar Power for Beer. This simple statement neatly encapsulated what the program was, what it offered and caused media and consumers alike to take notice of this incredibly unique and new program.

Our audience for the program was broader than the typical VB audience thanks to the technology behind the campaign, expanded our targeting beyond mainstream media to include technology, blockchain and energy media - targets that VB has never had reason to engage with before.

To distribute our message, we created a suite of media-ready assets including: media release, video news release, animation that explained the program and still imagery.

Execution

To launch, the VB Solar Exchange is being opened up to 500 Aussies as a Beta test for 12 months, allowing optimisation and refinement to the program upon review.

The program has been developed in partnership with green electricity retailer, Diamond Energy, and Power Ledger, a blockchain powered software company. Solar Exchange is available across Australia, with residences that have solar panels and the required meter installed at their homes. All people need to do to join the VB Solar Exchange is switch their electricity retailer to Diamond Energy. Aussies who have signed up can track the solar energy they’ve accumulated and the beer they’ve exchanged online, with cases being delivered to their homes each quarter in-line with their billing period, free of charge.

Outcome

In its first year, VB has committed to exchange over 2 million kilowatts for 360,000 beers.

Objective 1:

Positive consumer sentiment and widespread conversation around VB’s solar initiative.

Results:

Over 1,200 Australian households expressed interest in joining the program in the first two weeks

96.5% positive consumer sentiment across social, website and phone direct interactions.

Objective 2:

Increase interest in the brand.

Results:

Website traffic: +280%

Objective 3:

Gain domestic and international earned media coverage.

Results:

Estimated earned media reach: 331,537,295.00 people globally

Over 250+ pieces of unique media coverage

Estimated earned media value: $3-4M

100% positive sentiment

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