That Premier Feeling


Ultimately, there is little differentiation between lagers. In a declining market, this poses a huge problem for a brand like Carlsberg; a brand which has seen falling preference within its core target audience due to increased choice, reduced consumption and the health-warrior.

Carlsberg has a long and distinguished heritage in Football – providing the platform from which to do something uniquely Carlsberg and not just a simple badging exercise. When it comes to The Beautiful Game, many brands operate in pretty much the same space - clichés about performance and passion of fans with overused and irrelevant stats.

OMD’s insight is that football isn’t as perfect as it likes to portray itself and fans have frustrations daily and across all areas of the game. The ups; the downs; warm beer; bad viewing experience; the pundits, these were identified as great areas Carlsberg could work with. In addition, Carlsberg’s global competitors have budgets significantly larger – in some cases up to 10 times more – making it increasingly difficult to create meaningful awareness and preference. What Carlsberg does have is local power brand distribution and brand strength – a brand trust – something Carlsberg needed to maximise in order to arrest the recent fall in consumer love.

OMD developed a full set of criteria that allowed it to take an objective view of all sponsorships in order to identify the properties that could deliver the greatest benefits to Carlsberg’s business – and make ‘That calls for a Carlsberg’ as famous as its predecessors.


It needed develop a point of difference. It needed people to genuinely believe ‘That Calls for a Carlsberg’ (TCFAC); and to make TCFAC as famous and iconic as previous platforms – ‘Probably’ and ‘If Carlsberg did…’ not a simple task!

The ‘That Calls for a Carlsberg’ strategy revolved around its Challenger brand mentality – always maintaining the desire to go against the grain - applying what the brand has been about since inception onto the world of football; not just following the crowd. It delivered this through creating a strategic platform with three tiers – Scale; Frequency; and Engagement. This three tier approach allows communication and engagement on a mass and niche scale.

In order to achieve this, OMD’s communications approach focused in three targets – the fan at the ground; the fan at home and wider discerning drinker. Each tier was to be delivered through certain properties to avoid cannibalisation of message. These quite simply were Scale: UEFA EURO 2016; Frequency: FA Premier League; and Engagement: Liverpool FC & Arsenal FC.

The organising thought throughout all of these properties is that Carlsberg does not activate football, it activates ‘obsessive pursuit of perfection’ through football and position itself away from the mass clutter that purveys football. It delivered perfection in the form of the best seats, the best viewing experience, the best banter, the best refreshment – consistently across all tiers of the portfolio.


It gave the local markets a tool-kit for dreams! Through OMD’s negotiations, Carlsberg markets have access to an array of assets to make fans feel a part of the world’s premier football properties. It delivered its product right into the hands of thirsty consumers through adding exclusive pouring rights at Premiership grounds – allowing them to consume Carlsberg’s product and their passion – in perfection.

Additional negotiation of digital perimeter boards throughout the league gave access to huge global TV audiences who love the world’s best league and as OMD managed the ticketing and hospitality programme which allowed it to bring consumers from all corners of the globe to experience the thrill of the Premier League.

Local market activation of Liverpool’s club sponsorship featured an end-to-end media to experiential campaign resulting in lucky fans taking penalties in front of the world famous Kop at Anfield. Local teams held viewing parties, so the product could be consumed locally whilst taking in a game. All executional elements were supported with paid and social media and image use across the Carlsberg network, re-enforcing the brand association as Carlsberg being the Official beer of the world’s best football league.

OMD built a bespoke Carlsberg asset management system allowing Carlsberg’s global markets to request any asset at the click of a button – anything from the use of player imagery, match tickets, hospitality through to Stadium Tours, trophy requests and player appearances. The success in the Premier League is the blueprint for the next chapter: the UEFA Championships in 2016.


What a goal! The activity has delivered awareness, attendees and consumption.

The Carlsberg brand reached over 800,000,000 households globally, or even more impressively 4,400,000,000 – that’s 4.4 billion viewers through the perimeter board coverage from live TV broadcasts. Over 200 countries (including territories) will have seen the brand in 2013 demonstrating huge reach. 

The fans – the ones who attend the grounds have consumed over 10,000 hectare-litres of Carlsberg during the games. Or if you were a barman – that’s pulling over 6,000,000 pints. Great save! The brand invited over 3,800 guests to enjoy the excited of a live game through the ticketing and hospitality programme.

Carlsberg had over 66 local markets utilising the global asset package to build its association with the Premier League – utilising anything from TV spots; digital; mobile apps right through to on-pack and on-trade promotions; a truly consistent campaign across a very locally driven business.

Now That Calls for a Carlsberg!

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Drinks (alcoholic)
Asia Pacific
August 2013 - May 2014
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