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‘Carlsberg’s ‘disruptive’ Twitter campaign tackles criticism of its beer head on

‘Carlsberg’s ‘disruptive’ Twitter campaign tackles criticism of its beer head on


‘Carlsberg’s ‘disruptive’ Twitter campaign tackles criticism of its beer head on


Carlsberg is sharing a series of critical, and at times rude, tweets about the taste of its beer as it admits its old lager failed to live up to people’s expectations and tries to get them to give its new brew a go.

In a social video series created by Fold7, Carlsberg captures the reaction of employees from across the business as they read out the “colourful” descriptions used to describe the old beer. The videos show staff working in every department from the brew house to the financial floor responding with a mix of shock and bemusement to the tweets.

The idea apes a segment on the US show Jimmy Kimmel Live called ‘mean tweets’, which sees guests on the show read out the horrible things people say about them. Comments featured in the Carlsberg video include: ‘tastes like a urinal cube that has been in the trough for a week’; ‘tastes like a puddle of fetid camel’s piss’; and ‘it’s like drinking the bathwater your nan died in’.

It follows on from a social campaign Carlsberg has been running promoting tweets that also criticise its taste. Carlsberg UK’s Twitter account has begun responding to the criticism, encouraging people to try the new beer and let it know what they think.

The move comes after Carlsberg relaunched its eponymous beer with a new recipe, visuals and name – Carlsberg Danish Pilsner.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Liam Newton, vice-president of marketing at Carlsberg UK, says the tactic is all part of a strategy to disrupt the beer market and get people talking. The social media activity is just the start of a much bigger campaign to drive reappraisal of the brand and its taste after the beer was rebrewed “from head to hop”.

Read our exclusive in-depth interview with Newton about the Carlsberg relaunch here.

That includes outdoor ads that admit it is ‘probably not the best beer in the world, so we’ve changed it’, and a TV campaign that will run from the end of May featuring its brand ambassador Mads Mikkelsen that will talk more to its Danish heritage. The aim is to get people to try the new beer, which research finds is preferred by 59% of lager drinkers over the current mainstream lager best-seller.

“What we wanted to do was try to be quite disruptive… to be honest, bold, direct and witty in our tone of voice. You have to be disruptive to stand out in a world of wallpaper advertising and where people are cynical about brand relaunches,” explains Newton.

“The series of films acknowledge [that the beer didn’t live up to people’s expectations], although we definitely wouldn’t express it in the way they have. The spirit of what we’re saying and the challenge around the brew is going, ‘OK [we hear the criticism], we’ve moved on, this is what our new brew is about.”


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