By Katie Deighton | Senior Reporter

June 3, 2016 | 3 min read

Swedish brewer Kopparberg has activated its first lager product in the most Shoreditch way possible: through the medium of street art.

Known primarily for its fruity ciders, the company enlisted artist Will Vibes to create a one-day anamorphic street art experience in east London's Boxpark. A seemingly abstract design was painted around a giant bottle of the new 330ml fruity beer; when reflected in the installation's mirror, the painting appeared no longer distorted.

The experience, which also doubled as a trial and sampling exercise for the brand, was the first in a season of below-the-line activations. A touring revival of the Kopparberg Urban Forest music festival and a collaboration with music events group Sofar Sounds are also on the cards, designed to promote both the lager and flagship cider drinks.

"We’re very closely associated with cider," Jodie Alliss, senior marketing manager at Kopparberg, told The Drum. "With Fruit Lager being so new we wanted to do something for consumers that challenges the familiar to them, and challenges their perspective of what they’re seeing, just like Fruit Lager is doing for Kopparberg in the market."

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up

The idea of a light beer may have been in the works for a "few years" at Kopparberg HQ, yet this summer was the ideal time to launch. According to Alliss, the brand has noted that "the cider category has started to mature", and its horizontal expansion aims to capitalise on British drinking habits.

"We wanted to launch something that could extend the drinking occasion: from [our cider] being the first couple of drinks in the evening or daytime drinking into the evening," the marketer explained.

"We think fruit lager can do that - being a smaller serve in a 330ml bottle - and really compete in that arena. Consumers are looking for a more refreshing, tasty product, especially the younger millennial consumers that want something fruit based."

Alongside the event, a launch programme of press, social media, digital and outdoor has been planned around Kopparberg's hero season of summer, as part of a wider multi-million pound main brand campaign. Its Urban Forest event has also evolved into a touring festival activation for 2016.

Alliss explained: "We’ll have the same bar and a stage that we’ll be programming ourselves with great, upcoming acts. We’ve had so much success with the Urban Forest and we’ve had a lot of engagement, but it’s been limited to London - we wanted more people to get involved."

While Urban Forest is arguably one of a handful of brand-led music experiences to attract real cultural buzz, music-focused alcohol brand campaigns are now no longer original. Jack Daniel's announced plans to target the hip-hop crowds earlier this year, while Heineken kicked off a new global campaign named #LiveYourMusic in April.

How does Kopparberg stand up against these similar – and often better-funded - campaigns?

"If you look at the history of us as a company we’ve always done things differently," said Alliss. "With a lot of our product launches we like to be first to market, so that’s really important when we look at the partnerships and the kind of activations that we do.

"We really want to immerse ourselves in social culture in a way that has strong engagement and creates connections with our consumers, rather than spending all of our money on pure above-the-line advertising."

Events Brand

Other episodes in the series

Episode 1

Cadbury unleashes the moo of its animatronic cow to promote bovine adoption promo

Cadbury Dairy Milk took to the ever-popular activation spot of the Southbank this week with an animatronic cow in order to promote its Buttons brand’s bovine adoption scheme.

Episode 2

‘Alexa, order me a cocktail’: Diageo and Dentsu Aegis test voice activation in the connected bar

Connected devices, the internet of things and voice activation: all innovations the modern marketer usually confines to the bounds of the home. But in Cannes this year Diageo has teamed up with Dentsu Aegis agencies Isobar and iProspect to bring these technologies into a new consumer market: the bar.

Episode 3

Welcome to the mind of Mark Denton: a look at the work in his Art Mart gallery

The extraordinary creative mind that is Mark Denton has his own art gallery – a grocery shop styled show in Shoreditch, London.

Episode 4

Inside the San Miguel Experience: why the brand is investing in immersive events

San Miguel launched its Rich List campaign earlier this year in a bid to celebrate individuals who have dedicated their lives to seeking our new experiences. Now the beer purveyor is turning to live events to help recruit applicants.

Episode 5

‘It’s not a political statement’: why Publicis is celebrating immigration through artwork

Visit Publicis’ London office on Baker Street throughout August and you’ll find yourself in the midst of an art gallery curated to celebrate the creative lifeblood that immigrants – and the children of immigrants – bring to British culture. However the show should not be read as a political statement, according to the agency’s chief executive.

Episode 6

New York's window displays reviewed by Deutsch head of design Roger Bova

Holiday window displays by big retailers make the season sparkle, with shoppers mesmerized by the shiny details that go into each exhibit.

Episode 7

Behind the scenes of EasyJet's last minute Christmas campaign

On a snowy December morning outside of Terminal One of Gatwick Airport, Santa was seen clambering up and down an escalator without a reindeer close by.

Episode 8

ABB on why its title sponsorship of Formula E is as much about brand reputation as awareness

Tech company ABB hopes its title sponsorship of Formula E will finally make it a global name. But the deal is also fuelled by an authentic support of the race’s underlying philosophy – in spite of its political and sporting controversies.

Episode 9

#TrumpBaby takes flight – and proves the brand-building case for crowdfunding

Today (13 July) saw a rotund orange pocket of air fly above London’s Parliament Square in protest of Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. The huge media interest in the event has proven that crowdfunding a creative idea can not only work but can build a solid brand for the project in the process.

Episode 10

Panasonic wants consumers to adopt a ‘buy less, respect more’ approach to tech

Panasonic Design’s dark but calming installation at the London Design Biennale encapsulates the brand’s refreshed approach to tech – one that connects less with 20th century consumerism and more with the Japanese approach to care and respect.

More from Events

View all