And no I am not referring to, A Street Car Named Desire (where this famous phrase originates from) - I am referring to Stella Artois, the Belgian pilsner. The company has been around since 1926, but what have they been up to 91 years later? How has this antique brew been positioning itself in a market saturated with millennials? Are they trying to build a relationship with this unique market? If so, are they taking advantage of new digital media platforms to get in front of these prospects? But most importantly, are they drinking Stella Artois? And that answer may be yes.
Trying to find the answers to all of these proposed questions was not easy. While I was browsing through multiple social platforms and trying to find paid media from the big players in the beer market, it came to my attention that there are a few regulations with brands advertising online. Since only those over 21 years old can buy alcohol, the industry has adopted a new ad placement standard, requiring that 71.6% of the audience must be 21 years or older. Although I am over the age of 21 years old, I still had a hard time finding promoted or sponsored ads from any beer brands. With this in mind, a new report from the FTC industry stated that alcohol brands only spend 7.9% of their budget on online/digital marketing in comparison to 31.9% spent on traditional media and 28.6% spent on wholesalers and retailers. For brands like Stella Artois, trying to build a relationship with millennial customers (who of are age), minimal online advertising could make this task difficult - so how are they beating the system?
Stella Artois leverages their collaborations with other brands for as a source of paid media that they created with Water.Org for their new Twitter campaign, Buy A Lady A Drink. The “Buy A Lady A Drink” campaign launched in 2015 to raise awareness about Stella Artois’ global footprint to drive consumers to address the global water crisis. I first saw this campaign featured on Twitter, in a short video clip. There are many different types of Twitter ads that advertisers can use for different purposes including: awareness, engagement, growth, traffic promotion or app installations. In this particular case, this Twitter campaign purpose is to generate traffic toward this specific campaign microsite. The cost for these ads depends on how you are promoting the ad - by follower or engagement. Depending on the interest of your target, the cost can range from $2.50-$4.00 per follower. On the contrary, if you are promoting the ad by engagement, advertisers only pay when users interact with the ad. This type of ad can range from $.50-$2.00. For Stella Artois's Twitter ad, they received 16 replies, 63 retweets and 87 favorites - not too shabby.
Due to the number of regulations with alcohol advertising, I think that utilizing this form of paid media was a power move for Stella Artois to pursue their mission to connect with the millennials in the market. Millennials hold true to values of the brands they follow and are passionate about causes that mean something to them. Getting in front of millennials on channels they utilize the most is critical in increasing conversion and stimulating conversation. The brand leveraged an emotional talking point on a channel where their prospective target audience is present. It is also interesting to see how brands are collaborating with causes that can built to shape the world and how consumers can get involved.
Stella Artois's famous slogan is "A cut above" and this media campaign was definitely a cut above the competition.