Creativity is one of the biggest behavioural shortcuts (or heuristics) a brand can invest in when trying to drive more customers. A truly creative solution, like this example from Carlsberg, can tackle the reasons why people aren’t buying your product or service head on, and in a way that continues to benefit the brand.

With this in mind, Carlsberg’s creative campaign is a good one to look at from a behavioural perspective.

The perception of Carlsberg is a “cheap beer”, not very flavourful or valued by punters nipping in for their usual pint. Competition from the craft brew scene has bought a new type of drinker to the fore with more discerning taste buds. These people appreciate the story of the brew as well as the taste, one of which Carlsberg has in spades – we’ll give you a clue, it’s not the taste.

Carlsberg’s bold move to rebrew their primary beer and confidently announce why to the rest of the world is a great example of a creative way to engage with existing and new, more discerning drinkers, and also a perfect demonstration of the pratfall effect. This underexploited cognitive bias states the appeal of a person or brand can increase after they have shown a weakness, or ‘pratfall’. Find out more on that here.

The brand’s pratfall was to round up all the negative perceptions of its beer (even those describing it as p*ss) and creatively address them head-on; but not in the way you might think.

One part of the campaign uses a super-elevated version of the old adage “You spoke. We listened” approach, a bit like we saw with Domino’s Pizza turnaround and KFC’s new fries. Called “Mean Tweets”, it shows employees reading out the nasty things people said about the beer on social media.

It goes to show that when people are saying something about your brand, there must be something going on.

carlsberg creative campaign

Probably not the best beer in the world

Carlsberg took a hard look at itself and took the brave decision to take on their famous line, elevating this whole honest campaign. The creativity that lives in their message “Probably the best beer in the world” has been subverted with the addition of the word “not” after probably. If it meant something then, it means even more now. This is a great application of behavioural design thinking; turning the perceptions of a brand on its head for reappraisal.

Our specialty is in doing this too; applying behavioural-led thinking to solve problems. Our creative communications come from identifying the right opportunity to engage with people. We do this through our proprietary behavioural model that identifies the opportunities for behaviour change and then devise creative that springboards off this. We’ve done it to great success with many of our clients including Sharps and Housing Units.

If you like to find out more about how we do this click here
Or give us a call.

By Phil Monks

Deputy Creative Director