Taking a dig at a competing brand is not new in the advertising world. Adding to the list is the recently launched Beck’s Ice digital campaign—the beer brand’s attempt to spoof Kingfisher.
The Beck’s Ice campaign opens with the scene of a kingfisher bird (a connotation of the Kingfisher beer brand in this case) hunting for its prey, which is later seen slipping away from its beak. The protagonist of the film then reiterates that the kingfisher bird is not smooth as Beck’s Ice malt beer, thus taking a direct dig at the Kingfisher beer brand.
When BestMediaInfo.com asked about the Beck’s Ice campaign or whether they would file a legal suit against the beer brand, Debabrata Mukherjee, CMO, United Breweries, declined to comment.
“We take great pride in our brewing processes and the ingredients we select with care to brew distinct beers. Our film is only meant to point out a key difference in Beck’s Ice – 100% pure malt beer from other beers in the market. We aim to offer our consumers transparency about the distinct natural ingredients that are meticulously brewed to make Beck’s Ice a smooth offering and further elevate the beer category,” a spokesperson from Beck’s Ice told BestMediaInfo.com.
Asked what made them take such a risk of taking a dig at one of the largest beer brands in the country, the spokesperson from Beck’s Ice refused to comment.
The digital campaign for the brand is created by BBH India. Discussing the brief given by Beck’s Ice, Yohan Daver, Creative Director, BBH India, said their task was to land the fact that Beck’s Ice is made of 100% pure malt and that makes it smoother than its competition.
Talking about the idea behind such a creative, which is a direct dig at the brand Kingfisher, Daver said, “In a crowded category, we are the challenger and we needed our communication to stand out.”
Speaking on the strategy for Beck's Ice, Nikhil Chinnari, Strategy Partner, BBH India, pointed out, “Building on our previous campaign that established Beck’s Ice as the beer that offers escape from the monotony and pressures of urban life, the focus this time around is to bring to light the quality credentials of Beck's ingredients—100% pure malt beer, which lends to its distinct taste and smoothness.”
What was the strategy behind taking a dig at the Kingfisher brand? Isn't it too risky for the Beck’s Ice to do so? “Our single-minded idea was to romance the unmistakable smoothness and refreshing taste of 100% pure malt through some playfulness rather than just spelling out what sets Beck’s Ice apart from its competition,” emphasised Chinnari.
In the past, in a surrogate spoof, United Spirits had released a commercial for McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum, mocking Seagram’s Royal Stag.
The Royal Stag ad had ace Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh opting out of his father’s ball bearing factory and focus on cricket instead. At the end of the commercial, he asks the viewer if he has ‘made it large’ in life with his achievements. Taking a direct dig at this commercial and Royal Stag’s tagline ‘Make it large’, the McDowell’s No. 1 Platinum commercial depicted a Bhajji look-alike making ball bearings the size of gym balls at his father’s factory. He later goes on to ask his dad if he had ‘made it large’, only to get slapped by his father for being inept. At the end, it shows Dhoni saying, “Zindagi main kuch karna hai to large chodo, kuch alag karo yaar.”
The Beck’s Ice campaign is currently only a digital film.
Beck’s Ice, the European lager known for its German heritage from 1873, intends to break the mould in the beer category with an ingredient-first film narrative.
Beck’s Ice was launched last year in May and is available across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Puducherry and Goa. It comes with a distinctive packaging, a clear glass bottle with a ring pull feature and a metallic label.
Agency: BBH India
Chief Creative Officer & Managing Partner: Russell Barrett
Managing Director: Arvind Krishnan
Head of Planning: Sanjay Sharma
Creative Director: Yohan Daver
Copywriter: Jugal Joseph, Siddharth Shah
Art Director: Akshay Keluskar
Head of Production: Khvafar Vakaria
Executive Producer: Reema Asrani
Business Head: Sarita Raghavan
Sr. Business Partner: Tejal Turakhia, Anish Raghu
Strategy Director: Soumitra Patnekar
Strategy Partner: Nikhil Chinnari
Production House: LoudMouth Film
Director: Aakash Bhatia
Producer: Priyanka Bangia
DOP: Satchith Paulose
Production Designer: Rajeev Panjabi
Costume: Rhimjhim Sen
Editor: Suraj Jagtap
Music Directors: Raxit and Kenny
Colourist: Nicola Gasparri