By Natalie Mortimer | N/A

July 9, 2015 | 5 min read

The nation’s biggest brewers are hoping the connection between beer and food will continue to help revive beer sales as their combined effort through the The Beer Alliance readies a new wave of marketing to reignite Britain’s love of beer.

It's been six months since Britain's Beer Alliance – which includes brewers Carlsberg, SAB Miller and Molson Coors – launched its There's A Beer For That campaign. It was the industry’s second collective stab at lifting beer sales after it replaced the "Let there be Beer" campaign, which was censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for a misleading TV ad.

The revamped strategy successfully stood out from other beer ads, according to its makers and helped spur the first positive category growth for ten years.

Now, the umbrella body is gearing up to launch a second push of the campaign, which will predominantly focus on showing that beer can be a great accompaniment to food with an emphasis on off trade and on trade activity.

The campaign activity will launch next month (21 August) and runs for one month, and forms part of the initial £10m spend. Instead of creating a new TV spot more money has been poured into new media channels such as out of home and cinema and with last year’s ad to be reprised during the month of activity.

Both outdoor and cinema media investments are in direct response to two strategic learnings: increasing the level of awareness and reach of the message as well as implementing the attitudinal change achieved by the TV advert by sparking behavioural change at the point of purchase and point of consumption.

Speaking to The Drum from behind the scenes of the campaign's photoshoot, programme director David Cunningham, explained why the industry has been slow to push the food/beer tie-up.

“Why was the industry slow to latch on to it? Because they were looking at a main stream audience of who is your biggest opportunity out there; [which is] young guys on that classic occasion and maybe lost sight or that was their focus. Like all industries it evolves; the market moves on and if you look at those occasions they themselves are starting to decline. The idea of blokes out drinking lots of pints on macho nights out – yes it happens but it is becoming less frequent.”

Educating shoppers on and off trade

As part of its evolving message, Britain’s Beer Alliance has struck deals with retailers Tesco and Sainsbury’s and pub chains Mitchells & Butlers and Everards & Titanic. In April, the campaign launched in Tesco – the first time the retailer had run a category wide campaign – with the primary aim of educating shoppers on the different styles of beer available. This included tasting notes and food pairing suggestions, activity that Cunningham said increased dwell time in aisle and led to an increase of beer sales in Tesco and uplift in the supermarket’s penetration of the beer sector. Britain’s Beer Alliance was also keen to dissociate the campaign from price promotions to highlight beer’s provenance, which Cunningham explained.

“We are exploring with Tesco ways of promoting the same message but maybe in a different way, in different parts of the aisle or at different times of the year so we are not trying to compete with price,” he said. “Because to be honest not much can compete with price when you’ve got a big price promotion on because that will always be the key messaging consumers will take away.”

“The retailers and the industry want to change that and its starting to change naturally with the growth in real ale, the growth in premium ale, international lagers and with craft beer. The more the industry and retailers work together [they can] change the message away from it all being about price to being about quality, diversity, authentic and provenance”.

The on-trade phase comprises two main activations; firstly Dine With Beer With Mitchells & Butlers - a beer and food pairing menu and secondly Beer Club Live at Everards & Titanic-owned pubs which takes the success of the existing twitter campaign Beer Club into the pub.

Explaining the thinking behind the campaign Cunningham said: “What we are trying to do is show that beer is a wonderful accompaniment [for food] but rather than making a worthy ad showing a dull picture of beer with food we are trying to show a human and emotional element to the advertising as well”.

Cunningham was also keen to stress that while food forms an important crux of There’s A Beer For That it is not the only occasion the campaign aims to target.

“Beer and food is undoubtedly a really key strategy. Its not the only strategy but it’s a key strategy,” he said. “It could be about food or a moment down at the beach in Cornwall with your mates. Like the ad, it communicated food as the central message but the occasions were meant to broaden than that, it was also about friends, men and women and book clubs.”

Take a look behind the scenes of the There's A Beer For That campaign shoot and hear from Cunningham in this video.

Beer Tesco Sainsbury's

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