Carling. Cold Beer. Music.

[Agency: Cake London]

Challenge: In the 1990’s, Carling shifted its focus to the second most popular activity for 18- to 24-year-old men: live music. The brand embarked on a sponsorship acquisition strategy, securing naming rights to live music venues and festivals across the U.K. Then Carling came to Cake and asked, “What next?” We needed to build content and campaigns to make Carling a credible music brand among drinkers.

Actions: Carling behaved simply as “the perfect host,” offering great live music accompanied by a cold beer, so we built a campaign under a simple creative platform: “Carling. Cold Beer. Music.” Our Cold Beer Amnesty swapped festivalgoers’ warm beer cans for ice-cold cans of Carling, and we created the “New Kings of Rock and Roll” ad-funded TV show and hosted 24 hours of live music in “Carling Live 24.” Most recently, we have freshened up muddy festivalgoers with showers and cold Carling; across three sites, 58,000 guests have visited.

Results: Research group Ipsos declared that Carling was the brand most associated with music among men aged 18 to 24. It also placed Carling as the second most popular brand in music (Apple was first; Nokia, O2 and Virgin trailed Carling). As well as winning several awards, Carling built a fan base of music lovers (more than 3.5 million visits a month to and stretched its lead as the U.K.’s best-selling beer.