Beck's Bier strengthens its links with modern art

Beer brand Beck's is trying to bolster its association with the art world as part of a strategy to target 30-something professional men.

Owner InBev has enlisted Jackie Cooper PR to handle the campaign.  JCPR's initial work will be based around Beck's Futures, the contemporary-art prize now in its seventh year.

Its brief is to 'remind people they have an opinion on art', and will involve joint promotions with the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

'We're trying to differentiate Beck's in a competitive market,' said JCPR account director Dionne Morris. 'We don't want to create a brand that's just about football or sex.'

The drive is supported by a recent poster campaign in which British artists depict the brand's 20-year association with art. Limited-edition bottles to promote the Futures award include designs from Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

This year's shortlist includes an adult comic book, an investigation into rock and roll mythology and an examination of maps. The winner will be announced on 31 March at The Mall, London.

JCPR won a four-way pitch for the brief against two arts PR specialists - Brunswick Arts and Idea Generation - plus Freud Communications.

Eponymous agency founder Jackie Cooper leads the account, reporting to InBev sponsorship manager Jon Lee and marketing manager Chris Stagg.

Beck's has had a strong year, posting higher than expected European sales.

InBev chief executive John Brock said the company would be attempting to attract extra drinkers in the US, Germany and the UK through promotion in film stores and cinemas.

JCPR won a brief for sister beer brand Brahma  last March as InBev attempted to position the product alongside flagship brands Beck's and Stella Artois (PRWeek, 26 March 2005).

The agency also previously represented Australian beer brand Foster's.

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