With a budget of just R388,000, advertising agency King James Group managed to get Australians to punt South African beer, and reach 26 million people worldwide.
“It’s pretty simple how we did it,” Damian Bonse, creative director at King James Group, told Business Insider South Africa.
“The campaign tapped into the long-standing sporting rivalry between South Africa and Australia for a high impact tactical advantage.”
Launched on the day of the Australia-South Africa cricket test match in March, the campaign asked Australians what they thought about Newlands Spring Beer.
“But we forgot to mention one tiny detail: that Newlands Spring Beer is made in Newlands, South Africa – not that Newlands in Australia,” Bonse says.
In a one-minute television advert, Australian are seen praising the South African beer mentioning how the beer “can take on the world” and is the “best beer you can get”.
“That’s got to be patriotic; its right up there,” one respondent is seen saying before being told the beer is from Newlands South Africa.
Stunned Australians then ask “really?” with South Africans in Cape Town seen laughing.
“Getting South African's greatest rivals to punt our beer: legend,” the advert ends.
Within five hours of releasing the advert, it trended on Twitter, and a week later Newlands Spring Beer sold out in Cape Town.
Bonse says the success of the campaign is because it spoke “to people they way they talk to each other.”
“And what better way to prove just how great your beer is than asking the people who rarely have a nice thing to say about you, to tell you?” Bonse says cheekily.
After the campaign, requests were received to stock Newlands Spring beer in London, Turkey, the US, Japan, New Zealand and, surprisingly, Australia.
“And we’d be happiest to get the Aussies something decent to wash any bad taste out of their mouths,” Bonse says.
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