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Carlsberg starts again after admitting standards dropped

carlsberg-pilsner_ny-dawn-brand-worldBeer brand Carlsberg revealed on Tuesday a £20 million campaign offering consumers a ‘perfectly-balanced’ Carlsberg Danish Pilsner beer after admitting that the company lost its way.

The brewer’s latest move coincides with the all-time low demand in standard lager in the region.

Carlsberg said there are 1.6 million fewer drinkers compared to five years ago, due to the emergence of craft beer. But 81 per cent of consumers still see the regular lager worth paying more for.

“Drinker’s interest in mainstream lager has waned because, though the world has moved on, the mainstream category hasn’t. At Carlsberg UK, we lost our way. We focused on brewing quantity, not quality; we became one of the cheapest, not the best. In order to live up to our promise of being ‘probably the best beer in the world’, we had to start again. We’ve completely rebrewed Carlsberg from head to hop,” said Carlsberg UK VP marketing, Liam Newton.

Carlsberg Danish Pilsner is crisper compared to the original and has changed the packaging from glassware to can.

“We’ve returned to a path of pursuing better in every way inspired by the legacy of our founder J.C. Jacobsen. We have upgraded every touchpoint of our brand and launched our innovative ‘Snap Pack’ multi-packs to enable us to deliver a reduction in plastic of up to 50 per cent from brewery to store. These were significant undertakings, but the biggest challenge is letting UK drinkers know we have changed and getting them to fall back in love with Carlsberg again,” said Lynsey Woods, director of Marketing at Carlsberg UK.


Carlsberg UK’s new slogan emphasises honesty and hopes to stimulate good conversations.

“Today, the value of brand honesty to consumers is more powerful than ever. But it is still rare to see brands hold their hands up when they don’t live up to their promise. Carlsberg has not only been brave enough to do this, but have done something about it. By re-brewing Carlsberg Pilsner, and using the campaign efforts to focus on re-appraisal, we hope in time, UK drinkers will recall the quality of Carlsberg’s beer as fondly as they recall the advertising,” said Fold7 managing partner, James Joice.

“The innovation of the campaign planning mirrors the bravery of the message. Nothing less would have sufficed,” added Initiative CEO, Richard Morris.

Carlsberg Danish Pilsner campaign is out on social, out-of-home and digital. The TVC activation will go live from May as brand ambassador Mads Mikkelsen returns.

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