By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

July 6, 2022 | 4 min read

The Drum catches up with Heineken-owned Birra Moretti on why a 12th-century Tuscan villa is at the heart of its first foray into influencer marketing.

Founded in Udine in 1859 by Luigi Moretti, Birra Moretti has been shared among friends and families in Italy and across the world for years. “We’re a brand that is all about connection. Birra Moretti really is about bringing people together,” says Dino Bozzone, global brand director at Heineken.

The Italian pale lager was acquired by Heineken in 1996, but has always tried to remain true to its roots. Earlier this year it was revealed that the brand would be renting a villa in Italy for the summer where journalists, influencers and celebrities could visit and get a real taste of what the brand stood for.

With the nation’s obsession with programs such as Love Island showing no signs of abating, the brand is planning to tap into our love of watching people on holiday with its own TV show that will give a fly-on-the-wall view into all the different facets of the project and those who have come and gone.

Villa Moretti 2

“The biggest challenge in all of this was to find the perfect villa,” said Bozzone. “We knew we wanted to create a home in Italy where we could bring people from around the world to what we were going to have as the home of Birra Moretti. But we needed to find our home. And we searched far and wide.”

Eventually they settled on Villa Collalto, an 18-bedroom home that’s been in the same family for centuries. It felt like a ‘family home’ – and that was key. “We met the four generations of women who are currently running the villa, and they were super excited about our vision for what we wanted to create.”

Villa Moretti 1

An immersive in-person experience was crucial to this marketing push. During the pandemic the brand did various cooking classes online, but that could never compare to learning how to cook pasta from a Nonna firsthand – one of the activities featured in the campaign.

“We knew we wanted to create this immersive experience because one of our overall brand ideas for the year is to inspire people to live the Italian way. And the reason is because we believe that when you live the Italian way, wherever you are in the world, you can live a more joyful life.”

Influencers in the house

Surprisingly, it’s the first time that Birra Moretti has worked with social media influencers, but for Bozzone the experience is for everyone. “One of the things that I’ve always said is if we create experiences that are for anyone, whether they’re a consumer or an influencer, they are going to leave and say that this is an amazing experience,” he notes.

Villa Moretti 4

“It becomes less about them being influencers coming to the villa and more about them being just ordinary people coming and having an amazing time.”

The hurdle is standing out in a saturated drinks market and doing something that people are “going to remember for the rest of their lives.”

The future

Birra Moretti plans to work with a select few influencers for the rest of the year to promote the upcoming TV show, a competition to win a stay at the villa, and an Instagram challenge where it will crown ‘the most authentic non-Italian.’ Bozzone is tight-lipped on the television show, but confirms it will feature four UK-based celebrities who – sometimes hilariously – will attempt to live life the Italian way. “We’re going to take them on a journey through Italy.”

“It’s about bringing people from all parts of the world, where you forget about where you’re from, and come together as a family around that long Moretti table.”

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