online marketing psychology

March 17, 2010

Beer battles in Brazil

Things are moving on the Brazilian beer market.

Inbev is introducing its American flagship brand Budweiser. The brewer is already pretty dominant in the pilsener market. In the premium import beer category it has Stella Artois in place, but the competition from Heineken is fierce.

It wil be interesting to see how Inbev will market Budweiser to take on Heineken. It is a challenge how they can avoid cannibalization for its Stella brand. I'm not sure if there is place for so many (expensive) import beers on the price sensitive Brazilian market.

Dutch brewer Heineken however is following a similar strategy. After the recent acquisition of brewer Femsa it gained a larger control over the Brazilian market.

And now they are using this distribution to launch five import beers. Dutch beer Amstel Pulse, Italian Birra Moretti, Austrian Edelweiss and Irish beers Murphy's Irish Stout and Murphy's Irish Red.

Not sure what their strategy is. To fill the market, or to make it harder to launch new brands.

Although not a new beer, Devassa Bem Loura (Good blond) attracted a lot of attention lately. The company hired Paris Hilton to shoot a video clip and make some promotion at this years carnival.

Hire her and you get drama.

Not only did her drunk escapades during that carnival attract some attention. Maybe even more brilliant was the controversy surrounding the advertisement. Media all over the world wrote about the ad.

Although I'm not a fan of the commercial, the decision to remove it from TV because it is too sexy by government agency Conar seems a bit overreacted. Although ruling on commercials is strict, the ad is nothing compared to the content of the actual television programs.

Some claimed the complaint and controversy was just brewer Carolschin's PR machine in action. And while it did attract a lot of free press and coverage, it remains to be seen if this campaign pays off. With a price of R$100 million (about 40 million euro) it remains to be seen if the campaign pays off. (Paris Hilton is rumored to have taken about $700,000 of that budget)

If you have any more clues or opinions about strategies of Heineken, Inbev, or Devasse, please do share in the comments!

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