Beer brand bonkers brand extension: Carlsberg shampoo
Yup. That's right. Carlsberg the beer brand is launching a grooming range with a shampoo and body lotion. If you're interested, you can buy it on Findmeagifit.co.uk here.
According to the website, "Each bottle contains half a litre of Carlsberg’s famous beer! They are also packed with Vitamin B and collagen which will help leave hair shiny and strong and skin wonderfully moisturised". The set of two products costs a pricey £19.99 apparently.
And as bonkers brand extensions go, though I can't quite believe I'm writing this, Carlsberg's grooming range has actually been quite well executed.
On the upside, it is mad enough to get some PR coverage, such as this article jn Metro.co.uk. The products also do a good job of using the Carlsberg brand identity and the comms idea: "Probably the best lager in the world". The brand's ad campaign brings to life this idea by showing what different products and services would be like if Carlsberg did them. For example, a recent ad here says "If Carlsberg did haircuts, they would probably be the best in the world". And even the beer ingredient is apparently not just a gimmick, as the Metro article explains: "For those wondering WTF is going on, this range isn’t as left field as it first appears.Beer has been one of the best-loved secrets in beauty for years, with claims it strengthens and shines dull tresses."
However, Carlsberg will probably sell little to no shampoo or body lotion. Even if the products are OK, very few people are going to fork out £20 to buy them. The issue is not only the "size of the prize", the sales potential of the concept and product, but also the "ability to win". Of course Carlsberg lacks the marketing investment, supply chain expertise and distribution muscle to really compete in the new market it is entering. Being sold only on a gifting website means that the physical availability is extremely limited.
If it was intended as a strategic brand stretching exercise the Carlsberg Grooming Kit is, of course, a joke. But then that's the point I think. It's a novelty item created with the tongue firmly in the cheek. And given that beer is still on the whole a masculine, jokey and entertaining category it sort of works as a stunt.