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Carlsberg Advertising

Madds Mikkelsen, introducing Carlsberg's Pilsner, hints at the death of its old brewer


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

May 22, 2019 | 3 min read

Carlsberg has again enlisted its "brand philosopher" Mads Mikkelsen to introduce the Danish brand's new pilsner to a mass TV audience in an egdy ad that takes a murderous turn.

Carlsberg's Madds Mikklesen 'The New Brew'

The UK ad will run through summer addressing the brand's transformation with a degree of honesty and humour off the back of the 'Mean Tweets' which first sparked intrigue by promoting genuine consumer tweets ridiculing its beer, likening it to “the rancid piss of Satan,” “cat piss,” “naan bread,” “stale breadsticks” and a dead grandmother's bathwater. Staff then read out more mean tweets directed at them, before revealing a new pilsner. Some of the positive YouTube reviews were also translated into a series of radio ads.

Liam Newton, vice president of marketing at Carlsberg UK, at the time told The Drum through a "nerve-wracking" relaunch, claiming: “It's been fascinating to watch the campaign unravel over the last week," he says. "But in the end, it was all good."

Now this has all been tied together with a continuation of its Madds Mikkelsen work which has been signaling at a premiumization of the brand for several years now.

Mikkelsen confesses in the ad: “In the UK, Carlsberg pursued being the biggest, not the best and the beer suffered." The work takes a dark turn implying the brewer has been dumped to the bottom of a lake as punishment - a scene that wouldn't have been out of place in Mikkelsen's show Hannibal.

Liam Newton, vice president of marketing, Carlsberg UK, said: "The aim of our marketing campaign is to get consumers to try our new Carlsberg Danish Pilsner and drive re-appraisal of the brand in the UK. It’s been great to see the reaction so far, and we hope drinkers will respond to the humour of our new TV ad, starring Mads Mikkelsen, by trying Carlsberg Danish Pilsner this summer.”

Ryan Newey, chief commercial officer of Fold7, added: “The new spot continues to build on the campaign launched on social media a few weeks ago, Carlsberg confronts the issues it may have had with the old brew and concludes that the issue has now been firmly dealt with, in a way only Carlsberg could.”

The new 30-second Carlsberg Danish Pilsner advert debuts on UK television screens on Thursday 23 May during Hatton Garden on ITV. It will run throughout the summer on TV and digital channels. A 50-second version will premiere during Gogglebox on Channel 4 on Friday, 24 May.

Vote for the ad now in The Drum's Creative Works.

Carlsberg: The Lake by Fold7

By Carlsberg

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