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Stella Artois Commercial Exemplifies Branding Perfection
By: Don McLean
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Some commercials try too hard. Some commercials do not make sense. Some commercials look like the agency just put an intern on it. None of this is the case with the new Stella Artois commercial entitled “The Artist.” From the first viewing of the commercial you can see what the brand is all about, who they are, and what they want you to experience. “The Artist” is the latest television advertisement for the brand from New York advertising agency Mother.
 
Describing the brand, Stella Artois’ global brand director Jorn Socque said in an interview “…we are one of the only beers in this [US] market that has the same level of sophistication as wine.” This advertisement, as well as others that came before it, exemplify this trait. The sophistication and panache of the brand in “The Artist” show that this is in fact more than just a beer. After reviewing this commercial, it can be broken down into five distinct key points:
  1. Pulling them in: The consumer is initially pulled in with the art of glass making. It is an art that very few people have seen regularly, if at all. It is that initial touch point where you are not quite sure what is going on but you know you are intrigued to see more. The Stella Artois logo does not fully appear on the glass until 19 seconds into the commercial. They were very careful to make sure to focus more on how the consumer should feel about the product experience first. That is big when it comes to branding.
  2. Sincerity: There is a piano in the background playing lightly, showing sincerity. You cannot see the piano but the expression and the colors coming from within the sound of its key strokes intrigue the audience even more. It is classy. It is cool. It is unmistakably different from other ads.    
  3. Something more: The artist is getting ready for something. He cares about the glass chalice enough to put on cufflinks before hand-painting it. Another classy touch. He is a man of fine taste, as seen in his taste in watches and his tailored suit. He cares about not only making the chalice but about everything else in his life as well.
  4. Script:  Many commercials have so many words that the consumer may lose sight of what matters. In this case, simpler is better. The only words in the entire 30-second commercial come in for the last third, briefly affirming, “If this much care goes into the chalice, imagine what goes into the beer.” The brand values speak again. Stella Artois cares about their beer and how you feel while drinking and preparing to drink it. They do not take you through a factory to show you the same beer process that every other company uses; they want you to imagine it. Instead, they take the consumer through the preparation for enjoying the beer. We can clearly see that the words matter as much as the preparation.
  5. Tagline: The commercial ends with The Artist meeting a lovely woman at the bar who ordered a ‘Stella.’ The tagline is not even read like many commercials, it waits for you to read. The consumers are already pulled in so much that they automatically read it themselves. “She is a thing of beauty.” Are they talking about the beer, the chalice, or the woman? Maybe it is all three? In the end it is about a young man showing care — for his lady, his style, and his work.
This is perfect execution. You realize that this is more than just a beer. It is a lifestyle. It is a feeling. The commercial debuted during the Oscars and made its statement right away. What do you feel while watching the commercial? How can you apply this to your brand’s advertising strategy?
 
Watch the spot here.


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About the Author
Don McLean, MBA is an account supervisor at Airfoil Group, an independent marketing and public relations firm serving tech companies and innovation-centric brands with offices in Detroit, New York and Silicon Valley. Follow Don on twitter at@mclean_don.  
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