I donâ€™t often use this platform to criticize brands. I come from the school of thought that itâ€™s more powerful praiseÂ the ones who are getting it right.
But having just come off the season of celebrations, I feel moved to comment on a campaign Iâ€™ve noticed.
I canâ€™t seem to shake the irritation that bubbles up when I hear the current ad campaign from the beer brand Stella Artois. It touched a nerve. While itâ€™s true that I am not the target audience, I canâ€™t ignore the fact that it so blatantly misses the mark in its message. The copy goes like this:
â€œThese days, rare moments are hard to come byâ€¦so host one to remember (with Stella Artois.)â€
I donâ€™t take issue with the campaign theme â€“ hosting, and the celebratory themes around holding a meaningful gathering, are relevant and effective. But to posit that rare moments are harder than ever to find seems dead counter to what is actually going on in our world in 2018.
Culturally, politically, socially â€“ and even spiritually â€“ weâ€™re living in a world that many are deeming â€œapocalypticâ€ at worst, and falling apart at best, with environmental, geo-political, genocidal and constitutional issues at the front of every headline.
From the conversations Iâ€™m hearing, Iâ€™d argue that we arenâ€™t actually feeling that â€œspecial momentsâ€ are rare. I think itâ€™s just the opposite. The way I see it, all moments of life â€“ of being alive, of being okay, of survival, of any good fortune in the way of house, home, loved ones, job security, physical wellness, etc. â€“ feel pretty special. In fact, itâ€™s the daily, seemingly banal aspects of our lives, once taken for granted (perhaps), that so many of us have learned to appreciate.
I think the campaign was earnestly trying to say this same thing, ironically, but instead, said the opposite. Itâ€™s a question of paying off the theme, â€œHost one to remember,â€ with language that resonates with how people are feeling â€“ but not articulating.
Thatâ€™s the magic of good messaging. Itâ€™s usually a sentiment you couldnâ€™t put your finger on, had not identified, or didnâ€™t realize was true, that creates an â€œOMG, yes!â€ moment when a brand nails it.
Stella missed this opportunity.
Great campaign idea. Strong creative. Misguided payoff.
It happens to the best of us, but if I could take a crack at rewriting the copy, what I would say instead is this:
â€œEveryday moments are everywhere, and worth celebrating. Share them with the people who matter by hosting one to remember.”
Just a suggestion, Stella.