Stella Artois: Thoughtful Website Launch Case Study

On September 18 Stella Artois released its latest international website. I can’t speak to the success metrics, but the strategy, thoughtful extensions and follow-through offer some best pracitces for site launches. Full disclosure: Real Branding leads Stella Artois digital marketing for Anhueser-Busch in the U.S., but has not been involved in the International efforts.

The strategy for launch looks/acts like “emulate an indie film release.” Essential creative marketing attempts/elements include:

  • Create a blog and link to influentials hoping they will link back to you and drive interest, buzz and maybe some natural search engine placement
  • Release awesome images and make available as Wallpaper and CMYK Poster
  • Interview designers/developers on concept, influences, challenges, etc.–you’ve got your “how to” and PR talking points out there for the world to see
  • Host a Wrap Party–everyone on the project moved heaven and earth to make inspired work happen. Celebrate, then post pics to photoshare and display on blog.
  • Post a YouTube trailer

The Indie Flim strategy works well for Stella Artois as a function of their long standing involvement with cinema along with their cinematic, dramatic, thematic advertisements.

A cautionary note about “let’s create buzz and do viral”If emulating “indie film” strategy is a proxy for the totality of advertising communications support, I’d encourage brands to do better.  In other words, “all your money was spent on what you ‘put up on the screen’ and little if any marketing budget is left.” Too often we see buzz and viral added as an afterthought and “hail Mary” marketing play rather than an integral strategic initiative as we see here.I made a comment about the metrics because the Stella Artois website trailer on youtube has been viewed about 1500 times as of this post–not a hit in marketing measures. And the blog buzz is low with minimal coverage so far based on various search tools like Technorati (note: the loudest buzz is around UK offcials telling the brand they can no longer claim to be “produced by a family that has been dedicated to brewing for six centuries”). I don’t have visibility on total media spend offsite to promote the new website, although the blog mentions promoting through cinema trailer advertising. I hope it’s not limited to the tactics above–which demonstrate excellent follow-through idea execution and further the authenticity and reality of the consumer journey with the brand. These are best as supporting characters than lead actors in a Digital Marketing Strategy. Advertising and promotional support ensure audience, while these elements give hope and opportunity to something bigger. “Viral” and buzz building should contribute to the consumer conversation by offering transparency, authenticity (your consumers are smart and have the olfactories of a sommelier when it comes to discerning bologna, polish or sugar-coating) and insider access.

If someone at the brand wants to share about other advertising support mechanisms in general or specific terms, please comment below and keep the conversation going.

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3 responses to “Stella Artois: Thoughtful Website Launch Case Study

  1. Here’s discussion generated among beer bloggers:

    http://stonch.blogspot.com/2007/09/message-to-beer-bloggers.html

  2. Pingback: Boak and Bailey’s Beer Blog » Boak and Bailey’s Beer Blog — Big brewers love their beer too

  3. Pingback: Big brewers love their beer too | Boak and Bailey's Beer Blog

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