If Carlsberg did Adverts…. They Would Probably be the Best in the World
After a four year hiatus from our television screens the Danish beer giant Carlsberg is bringing back those iconic adverts that have been a staple of the brands marketing efforts since 1973.
The latest ad features a group of men on a trip to the supermarket of their dreams. The store is stocked with a whole range of ‘fantasy’ items including beer, cowboy hats, space helmets and mounted reindeer heads. It even features an area marked ‘sorry’ and ‘really sorry’ where men can buy apology gifts to win back the heart of their significant other (I especially rated this part). And of course there is a bar within the supermarket that hands out cold and refreshing Carlsberg and mouth-watering food for the discerning clientele.
The brewer is planning to run the 30-second ad on channels including ITV, Channel 4 and Sky 1 for six weeks and is expecting it to be witnessed by at least 22% of UK adults. Another two TV ads will be released later this year which will run alongside social, digital and print efforts.
It is evident that “If Carlsberg did” is one of the most recognisable advertising taglines of the 20th century. It has managed to transcend its advertising origins to become a term that, despite its media absence for nearly half a decade, still remains a part of everyday idiolect, an impressive feat that other brands can only hope to emulate. The managing director of the agency producing the ad revival, 72andSunny Amsterdam, commented: “‘if Carlsberg did… was a meme before meme’s existed and has remained as key Internet parlance.”
The revitalisation of the campaign comes after Carlsberg and Carlsberg export were found to be the worst performing out of the top ten larger brands last year. Sales of the drink fell by 8.8% with a loss totalling £233.8m and even though the campaign has cost 12m, if it is as successful and prevalent as its predecessors it could, considering the brands current situation, be well worth the outlay.
When an ad like this one becomes a cultural touchstone it can prove extremely difficult for a brand to emulate their previous success. It brings us to ask the question, is the process of revitalising previous concepts a good idea or will it just result in a tired and half-hearted product that is considered ‘overdone’ by consumers? Take the Go Compare adverts, yes they were catchy, yes they initially increased awareness but ultimately consumers became fed up and that annoying moustached singing Welshman had to go. Once a brand is so fiercely associated with a campaign it can be hard to shake and any feelings of negativity that can be passed on to that brand. Add in the social media element and brands open themselves up for a whole barrage of praise but more threateningly, criticisms from merciless keyboard warriors, intent on damaging images and spreading their distain.
I guess we can only pray that Carlsberg will not be one of those brands, forever overshadowed and measured by the success or indeed failures of their poignant campaigns. And while some may argue that reviving a previous idea displays a lack of imagination, in times of uncertainty maybe it’s beneficial for brands to remind people of the familiar. It is my sincere hope that following its airing supermarkets will be inundated with duped men looking for the in-store bar and tool trial area but settling for a crate of Carlsberg larger instead.