Watch: Amstel's garden fence pub campaign aims to bring people together

The brand director at Amstel tells PRWeek the Dutch brewing company needs to "walk the walk more" as it launched its latest campaign.

The brewer created a pub made of garden fences, turning a barrier that usually keeps neighbours apart as a way of bringing them together. The Open Arms pub opened on Friday (June 14) to kick off a national awareness campaign during Neighbours’ Week.

The campaign was devised by Edelman who were briefed to give Amstel a relevant point of view that created an emotional value-connection with people. In a study conducted in collaboration with OnePoll, Amstel found that over half of Brits don’t know their neighbour’s name and only four in 10 feel connected to their local community.

It also found that only 5 per cent of people feel very close to their neighbour, and 46 per cent of people believe that a better relationship with their neighbours would create a better sense of community.

The Open Arms was designed by Dutch architect Denis Oudendijk to symbolise togetherness and create a natural space to bring people together.

With many pubs at the heart of communities, Nic Casby, brand director at Amstel told PRWeek he hoped the campaign will encourage thousands of conversations up and down the country.

Casby said that in terms of social purpose, at a corporate and a brand level, the company needed to "walk the walk more" which was why they conducted the research.

Casby agreed that it was a challenge to communicate the brand to new audiences. "We know customers are looking at brands and are expecting more – the packaging and in messaging – and we want to make a point that really resonates. We felt the best way to do that was at a local level, and we want more people to make more long-term connections across society."

He added: "At Amstel, we’ve always valued friendship and the power of connecting with people and where better than the great British pub!"

Stu Hallybone, group creative director at Edelman Deportivo, said that the research showed that togetherness has never been more important and The Open Arms was the ultimate symbol of that. He added: "This activation is the latest work from this quirky campaign that kicked off last month with Jeff Bridges becoming a human bridge in Amstel’s latest advert - Bridges on Bridges."

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