Restoring the Australian beer brand Victoria Bitter (VB) to its former greatness was viewed by many as the impossible task. It’s a brief that many had attempted and failed.
VB hit extraordinary highs in the 1990’s – one in every four beers drunk in Australia being a VB .However despite their unprecedented growth, VB were distracted by one thing: their ageing drinker base. They decided that winning over a younger audience would be the ticket to continued success.
An entirely new way of marketing began.What followed was over a decade of decline, where volume more than halved.VB was a brand on its way to extinction. Much like the Australian beer brand Fosters – an icon itself who had all but vanished from the Australian market.
This is a story of the re-invention of an Australian icon. It highlights the first brave steps that have been taken to solve arguably the trickiest brand problem in the Australian marketing landscape today.
Our paper shows that to return a brand to former greatness you must find the relevant cultural interpretation of your enduring brand promise and values. And no matter how dire your situation, you must never react to single, perceived brand weaknesses in isolation of everything else.
By publicly apologising for some unpopular marketing decisions and finding a relevant interpretation of what our brand stood for – we earned back respect for the brand and returned it to growth for the first time in over a decade.
CREDITS OF PEOPLE
James McGrath, Creative Chairman, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Ant Keogh, Executive Creative Director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Jim Ingram and Ben Couzens, Creative Directors, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Ben Couzens,, Art Director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Jim Ingram, Copywriter, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Sevda Cemo, Agency Producer – TV, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Ben Nash, Agency Producer – Print, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Mike Derepas, Planning Director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Matthew Kingston, Senior Planner: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Paul McMillan, Managing Partner, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Simon Lamplough, Client Services Director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
John Meagher, Account Director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Georgia Field, Account Manager, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Giselle Tooth, Account Executive, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Andy Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer, CUB
Andy Meldrum, General Manager of Marketing, CUB
Richard Oppy, General Manager of Marketing, Victoria Bitter & Crown Lager
Craig McLean, Senior Brand Manager, VB
Mim Orlando, Brand Manager, VB
Belinda Brosnan, Asst. Brand Manager, VB