Stellar Stella

I love a great marketing campaign. There are so many bad commercials out there that when you see something special it’s like a breath of fresh air. Stella Artois, the upscale boutique Belgian lager, has a long history and over the years its advertising campaigns have frequently had associations with films. Long known for their clever advertising, the brand offers access to many of its TV ads on its site.

But this year, with its switch to the English ad agency Mother, an even more sophisticated approach was taken. Over the summer they featured a campaign shot by Bert Stern, famous for his 1962 pictures of Marilyn Monroe, with the tagline, “She is a thing of beauty.”

And Wim Wenders also shot a video in this series. Recently they brought in filmmakers Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola who continued to reposition the brand with a 1960’s French film world tongue-in-cheek spin.

However, where it really gets interesting is the introduction of the new Stella Artois Black label. The lager, which is launching in England, the 14th – 25th, will only be available in ten selected pubs and bars, which will be transformed into stylish settings for these evenings of interactive theater.

Customers who purchase the new premium lager are given a special card to fill out and return to the bartender. From these, the recipients of an actual invitation are selected and notified by email. If they choose to accept, they can reclaim two tickets to the venue of their choice. They will then discover the story behind The Night Chauffeur – a film noir of unanswered questions. They report to the location they have selected. After a phone on the bar rings, the bartender calls out the name of each of the guests and a chauffeur sees him or her to a special Stella Artois outfitted Citroën DS (the perfect choice!). As it says in the small print of the poster above, “Surrounded by actors, you become part of the story that unfolds. Where will it lead? What will happen? How will it end?”

I know I’m curious – how about you?


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12 Responses to Stellar Stella

  1. As a Belgian at heart (after 13 years living there), Stella has always been my beer of choice – and the marketing campaigns are genius… Too bad they aren’t thinking of bringing Black to the US – I’d be very curious to see what The NIght Chauffeur is all about!

  2. Jane Schott says:

    Great post….you’ve got my attention and I don’t even drink beer!

  3. I love a good ad campaign too! And this feels a little Mad Men, too. I’m very curious about the Night Chauffeur – if you ever go you’ll have to tell us all about it!
    ~ Elizabeth

    • quintessence says:

      Elizabeth – definitely has a Mad Men feel – from the European perspective – don’t you love the car?!

  4. Jennifer says:

    The Stella Ad really reminds me of the episode in Mad Men when Don & Betty go to Rome. In fact, I am sure it’s a direct nod to that.

    • quintessence says:

      Hi Jennifer – someone else mentioned that it was very Mad Men also – don’t know this episode but certainly possible. I know they were going for the whole French nouvelle vague film thing of the 60s. And btw – how nice was that mention of thisisluster on Cup of Jo – well deserved!

  5. Barbara says:

    I love this campaign… and your blog! Thanks Catherine F. for the introduction to Quintessence. ; )

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