Ogilvy & Mather London

Core disciplines: Advertising/Creative, Brand strategy, Integrated marketing



After years of stemming decline in a shrinking beer market, our consistent investment in Kronenbourg’s “différence” has dramatically paid off and the brand has reversed decline and increased growth.

Today Kronenbourg is the fastest growing beer in the UK. 

Kronenbourg 1664, a French lager from the Alsace, has long been one of Britain’s favourite pints for its great flavour and long heritage of quality brewing. However, when we started working with Kronenbourg, the brand’s share was in long-term decline. 

Inviting Britain to vive l’Alsace différence: we developed a brand platform that consistently demonstrated that Kronenbourg 1664 is the best-tasting premium lager because it comes from unusual Alsace - and that this means whilst it takes brewing seriously, it doesn’t take itself seriously.

The ‘Taste Suprême’ was developed to remind our nation’s drinkers why they loved it in the first place. We highlighted the distinctive taste of the beer and delivered this message with a typically British, tongue-in-cheek tone of voice that depositioned our competition. We used legendary footballer Eric Cantona - the ultimate lad idol - to carry our unique message and get our audience listening.

In our first tranche of activity we introduced the footballing legend, as the hero and brand champion. It saw the hop farmers of Alsace lauded like the celebrity footballers of Britain and Eric wishing he was one of them. It achieved an additional 22 million impressions for the brand.

Le Big Swim campaign built on Eric’s commitment to ‘A Taste Suprême’ by seeing him pledge to swim the English Channel if 10,000 people agreed that Kronenbourg 1664 was the best tasting beer in the world. Its viral appeal saw it exceed its media KPIs and receive over 16 million views in the UK alone. It was named the UK’s no.1 Social Media Campaign by Nielsen/Headstream. 

We soon realised that Eric was increasingly becoming a brand asset and vital to the brand’s tone of voice, so in 2016 we wanted to grow the semi-mythical world of Alsace. We created the next campaign that featured Eric introducing the noble “Alsace-tians”: dogs which deliver barrels of Kronenbourg 1664 to those worthy of its ‘Taste Suprême’. This even inspired the launch of the first ever bar staffed by dogs.

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