UK beer ad invites poor Indians to take a swig

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | April 22, 2005
Greene King takes a swipe at Indian beer makers

Vijay Mallya won't be amused at this. Or, may be, he will.

Suffolk-based brewer Greene King has launched an unusual advertising campaign in the UK to promote the sales of its beer brand.

The 2 million campaign features pictures of disappointed Indians in their home country wishing they could buy Greene King IPA. For uninitiated teetotallers, IPA stands for India Pale Ale.

The adverts are supported by the strapline: 'The India Pale Ale that never made it to India". In the same advert, Greene King apologises to the people featured in the creative and invites them to the UK for a pint.

Sarah Brindley, brand manager, Greene King was quoted as saying: "The campaign communicates our quality and heritage but in a modern and interesting way."

The Greene King IPA was created in the late 1800s by using more hops than usual to enhance the preservative qualities and help it survive the long sea voyage to India. But the beer apparently proved so popular in the UK market that Greene King never exported it to India.

Greene King IPA is currently the number one cask ale in the UK, with an 11 per cent market share of the total cask ale market.

While the advert may do enough to evoke the interest of prospective patrons, the fact remains that Indian beer - and especially Kingfisher, the brand which sells nearly 33 million cases per year - is literally going places. Indian beer drinkers annually deplete 90 million cases of beer.

Kingfisher Premium Indian Lager is exported to a total of 20 markets in Europe, the US, the Caribbean isles and Canada. It is also served on six international airlines.
Kingfisher was first imported from Bangalore into the UK in 1982, where it rapidly gained a foothold in the fast expanding Indian restaurant market.

Shepherd Neame, counted among Britain's oldest brewers, now brews Kingfisher under license and to the original specification, at its brewery in Faversham, Kent.

Perhaps, the advert was Greene King's way of scoring a few brownie points. 2005 agencyfaqs!

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