Shreyas Kulkarni

David Beckham gets a humility check in Stella Artois' new campaign

The football star is expected to return the beer brand to its premium roots for today's drinkers.

Near century-old brew, Stella Artois has turned to footballing royalty David Beckham to rejuvenate its premium positioning at a time when beer sales are struggling for parent Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABInBev).

A CNN report from February 2024 says that ABInBev may have lost as much as $1.4 billion in sales after its beer brand Bud Light’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney for a sponsored Instagram post triggered a backlash from consumers in the United States.

Beckham is the official ambassador for the new A Taste Worth More campaign that intends to celebrate the premium brand’s distinctive taste and genuine moments of connection with friends.

The first ad, made by Gut Miami, for the new campaign, shows Beckham getting a humility check at a bar after patrons do not recognise him, and are instead eager to get their hands on their Stella Artois order.

Stella Artois' new positioning
Stella Artois' new positioning

The commercial is part of a new year-long campaign and will run alongside digital and out-of-home advertising in the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, South Korea and South Africa.

The A Taste Worth More platform builds on Stella Artois’ famous Reassuringly Expensive advertising campaign that helped define the beer brand globally from 1982 until 2007.

“While the Reassuringly Expensive line was pure creative genius – a great example of understanding consumer behaviour and then transforming it into powerful advertising with an irreverent twist – it was almost three decades ago and the codes of premium have changed,” said Tim Ovadia, global vice president, marketing, Stella Artois, in a press note. 

“Being ‘premium’ is no longer just about the price tag, brands now have to prove their worth to consumers at both an emotional and functional level,” he added.

The beer brand will look to Beckham’s popularity and charm to turn around its fortunes. CNN, in March 2024, reported that Stella Artois had lost volume share in four out of the last five years in the US, as drinkers shifted their preferences away from ABInBev brands to other beers and even spirits.

Richard Oppy, global vice president of the Premium Co. at AB InBev, said David Beckham was tapped as an official ambassador for the brand because, “Not only does he embody modern premium values, but he is also a beer consumer and Stella Artois lover - an authentic connection that builds strong partnership. This is a big moment for the Stella Artois brand that we believe can kick off a powerful wave of growth around the world.”

The Reassuringly Expensive campaign helped Stella Artois rise to the top of the beer business because it turned the negativity against the beer’s high price into a positive one by assuring consumers the brand because of its steep pricing was better than the cheap alternatives in the market.

Gut Miami wrote on Instagram:

Stella Artois has always been a premium beer. But in today’s world, the meaning of premium has shifted. It’s no longer about classic stereotypical value. It’s about genuine worth that’s deep and personal.

To bring Stella Artois into the modern era, we’ve launched “Worth More”, a global platform that taps into the brand’s iconic roots and modernizes it for today’s culture.

Viewers will notice the beer brand’s commercial with David Beckham is the latest in a string of endorsements from the footballing star. He recently appeared in a Lay’s ad with another footballing great Thierry Henry and as part of a forgetful couple for Uber Eats with real-life partner Victoria Beckham.

Also, while Beckham endorses Stella Artois, one must know that he held a nine-year partnership with Diageo-owned Scotch Whisky brand Haig Club which ended in 2023. 

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