Pilsner Urquell has a new poster campaign out – at Waterloo station the walkway between the Bakerloo and Jubilee lines is completely taken up by posters based on the theme that it’s the detail that matters.
They’re not going to win any creativity awards or convert millions to drinking Pilsner Urquell, but they’re doing something really important and deserve to succeed.
Each execution shows a perfect drinking moment: one is the bloke on the sofa with a curry ordered, the wife out for the evening and a great DVD about to start. Another is a class reunion with the boys really on form. Another is a couple with the kids in bed and a long, relaxed evening ahead.
In each, the details are pointed out (‘DVD: Bladerunner, Director’s Cut’; ‘tomorrow: a long way off’). And then it’s the detail in the beer that’s equally important (‘head: European’: ‘flavour: full-bodied’).
I love this because there’s a misconception among large brewers that mainstream drinkers are scared of flavour, and this is not true. It’s telling people about a premium lager that has genuine heritage and tastes of something.
But more than that, what they’ve managed to do here is portray a positive drinking experience and get away with it. In each scenario, alcohol – beer – is an integral part of a perfect moment. The drink is definitely helping the flow of banter or the curve of relaxation, and yet no-one could argue that each scenario shows responsible drinking – there’s suggestion of a beery buzz, but no hint of drinking to excess.
That might not sound like much, but in today’s hysterical anti-drink environment, it’s almost forbidden to suggest that the reason we drink is that we like the way it makes us feel. It must have taken many iterations to get the balance of tone right, and no doubt someone somewhere will be offended by the suggestion that an adult can have a couple of beers without beating up an old lady and then dying a slow, lingering death from liver disease. But well done to SABMiller for putting a stake in the ground on behalf of proper drinking.