As part of its strategy to reinvigorate sales in the UK, Carlsberg has released a “Mean Tweets” video featuring its staff reading out the terrible things people have said about the beer.
The ‘Mean Tweets’ campaign kicked off with the brand doing paid promotion on genuine consumer tweets ridiculing its beer, with insults comparing the beer to “the rancid piss of Satan,” “cat piss,”, “stale breadsticks” and a dead grandmother’s bathwater.
A follow-up “Mean Tweets” video had more than 1.1 million views in the first 24 hours after it was released.
The video echoes Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Celebs Reading Mean Tweets’ format, watch it below:
In a press release, Carlsberg said: “By acknowledging the ‘truth’ about the quality of Carlsberg in the UK to date, the brewer hopes to challenge a generation of drinkers to re-appraise and re-trial Carlsberg.”
The brewer decided to take a radical approach to promoting its beer, admitting it lost its way: “We became one of the cheapest, not the best.”
In tandem with the “Mean Tweets” video, Carlsberg new ad released in the UK this week – part of a £20 million new campaign – plays on the Danish brewer’s former advertising slug line “Probably the best beer in the world.”
The new ad reads: “Probably not the best beer in the world. So we changed it.”
The ad goes on to say: “Somewhere along the line, we lost our way. We focused on brewing quantity, not quality. We became one of the cheapest, not the best.
“So, there was only one thing for it. We had to create a better beer. A new Carlsberg, that’s been completely rebrewed from head to hop. The result? A prefectly balanced Danish Pilsner with a crisper, fuller flavour than before. Finally, a beer that lives up to its promise? Probably.”
However, the new beer formula will only be used in the UK. The company said there are no plans to change the recipe in the rest of the world – including Australia – where it remains happy with its performance.
Liam Newton, vice president of marketing at Carlsberg UK, told The Drum: “We don’t believe the beer was ever bad.
“It was a product perception issue rather than a real product issue. Whenever we put Carlsberg into blind taste tests in the past, it actually performed relatively well. But when people tasted it branded, their perception of the beer always dropped. Other brands, even when the brew isn’t so good, the perception of quality often went up.”