First Content Studio - Eu sunt 12

Category: Best Content Marketing Project

Client: Bergenbier

Year / Domain / Status: 2016 / Drinks/Alcohol / Winner

Strategy description:

Bergenbier beer and National Football Team have a long time affair that, due to poor performance of the national team, threatened to become toxic for the brand. A heavy investment in NFA sponsorship contracts that started in 1999 led to a strong benefit for the brand: color association (national team’s outfit is yellow, Bergenbier’s color is yellow), as well as significant trial uplift during high profile competitions. Meanwhile, Bergenbier underwent serious communication turmoil, after easing the tone of their masculinity platform, to a drastic rebranding of visual identity & product focus communication, to returning to yellow & friendship platform. The only problem is that friendship is more of a territory, not a brand idea. This is why marketing team initiated process of brand statement refining in 2015, choosing, based on consumer research, to narrow friendship to the insight that men/ friends like to playfully compete, and most of the time it’s the race/ game that matters, not the outcome. Football is major beer consumption opportunity in Romania (about 15%), so a high opportunity for any beer producer. Bergenbier had already built on this, continuing it seemed quite obvious. The main problem of sports association is that it carries heavy risks: a team is loved when winning, and heavily debated when losing. Bad moments for the team can easily spill over brands sponsoring the team. Romanian team dyeing their hair in yellow after a win in World Championship, and losing many important games afterwards, is already local legend, with Bergenbier part of it. So the main challenge in continuing the association was not an easy one: how to leverage the sponsorship irrespective of the team performance during qualifications games, as well as (hopefully) during EURO 2016? How to make the affair work, “in sickness and in health”? In 2015 sponsorship deal was revived, counting on huge media covering during EURO2016 qualifications. We received the brief to integrate all football related initiatives under one single platform. We should own any football moment & naturally integrate the product, building at the same time on the new foundation for friendship. We challenged the traditional approach of sports sponsorships, which focuses on the team, and chose to focus on the fans. The sponsor should “voice” supporters, and assign their tribe the rightful role in the team. Bergenbier is the beer mate accompanying their football enjoyment, not a stiff corporation investing in footballers’ lavish lifestyle. Bergenbier enabled fans’ admission into the national team, as the 12th player.


Our campaign was targeted to all Romanian adult football fans. All of them. Core audience: potential users of Bergenbeir Extended audience: All adult football fans. Positive associations triggered by quality football content & activations lead to advocacy, with fans become the media. So even if they are non-beer users, or users of premium segments, their online & offline sharing of positive impressions have a high potential of side-reaching audience in core target. The chronological staging was carefully planned so that we make sure we build a relevant community, and integrate the brand as natural as possible into the platform. Stage 1. In summer 2015, we launched, unbranded football content platform, that acts as agile sports publisher, with news, speed, stories, quizzes, sharing, guest writers, blog, comments, video, native, with content pushed on all social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. We chose to launch it unbranded, to be able to build organically a loyal community around relevant content, not with promotional brand bribery. II. Stage 2. A few days before an important qualification game, we organized a stunt (in the center of Bucharest: two of the most important Romanian footballers (Stelea & Balint) unloaded a track full of footballs, playing on the symbolism of empowering regular by passers as members of the national team. The event had a huge success, with all major sports publishers reporting on the stunt, and the video reaching in only 48 hours 130,000 organic views on Facebook. We also had another famous footballer (Gardos) sharing footballs & tickets to the game on the street – over 400k organic views. 3 hours before the game, we set up another stunt, turning the subway station that was closest to the stadium where the game was playing into a stadium – another viral hit. During the game, our “Eu sunt 12” Bergenbier TVC was aired, and a “by Bergenbier” signature appeared on III. Bergenbier kept true to its vision of turning the fan into the 12th player, with a series of activations, all leveraged as video content on the platform: - famous Romanians “I am 12” statements, interviews & blog posts - famous footballers thanking to the 12th player for the contribution to the team’s success. - 8th of March: Mothers’ Day traditional song sung by fans in a pub, footballers’ moms campaign. - “IAM12” caravan: Balint & Stelea taking their footballs all over Romania. - caravan extended all over Europe: 100 fans selected via a promotion will get to ride a bus with Balint&Stelea to France to join the team. - the 12th player gets private locker & T-Shirt in the national football team’s changing room. Product was discretely & organically introduced videos: interviews over a beer, fans singing in a pub, etc.

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