Brilliant brand activation from Pilsen Callao

Its nice when projects you work on really come to life, with one example being Peruvian beer brand Pilsen Callao, part of SAB Miller's portfolio. The brand has hit the headlines recently, helped by a brilliant brand activation called "Bring Back your Buddy" (Trae a tu Pata). The brand won Best Integrated Campaign of the year, but also best Marketing Brand of the Year, in all categories. The activation has helped the sales grow 18% vs year ago, gaining 4 % pts of share, and contributed to enhances brand equity scores.

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Bring Back your Buddy gives friends the chance to be re-united with a friend who has moved away from home, perhaps to another country, by collecting bottle crowns, and turning these into "friends' miles". For the 100 friends groups with the most miles, Pilsen Callao 

You can see the launch commercial here, or by clicking below: 

Here are a few things to learn from the activation.

1. Dramatise the brand story

The Pilsen Callao brand idea is "The taste of true friendship". Its the beer that celebrates and facilitates friends getting together over a beer. The brand already runs special friends' nights on Thursday evenings ("Jueves de Patas"). Bring Back your Buddy dramatises the narrative even further, by reuniting friends who have lost touch. It literally brings to life the brand story. The idea is brought to life in the TV commercial, but also nicely executed in trade. See below for display split over two gondola ends that dramatise the idea.

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2. Tap into a deep insight

Many promotions do little more than give away free product, or perhaps promote a sponsorship tie up that is not that linked to the brand's story. True brand activations are more effective as they tap into true consumer insights. In the case of Bring Back your Buddy, the insight is about people longing to re-connect with friends who have moved away and lost touch. This came by the team mining the broader area of friendship, to find a more specific insight "angle" on which to build the idea.

3. Link back to the product

Great activation ideas have consumer appeal, but also a link back to the product to drive the business. In the case of Bring Back your Buddy, hanging out with your mates is a prime beer drinking occasion, and linked to the brand idea. And the activation is motivating enough to encourage people to buy the brand and collect caps to enter and win one of the 100 prizes on offer.

In conclusion, Pilsen Callao's Bring Back your Buddy idea is a great example of going beyond promotion to brand activation, building both the brand and the business.