Ed Cotton: Stella Artois’ Retro Take Makes A Fresh Commercial

Ed Cotton: Stella Artois’ Retro Take Makes A Fresh Commercial

'Black Diamond', Stella Artois' new campaign, uses film, theater and the internet to unravel a mystery about love and theft.

Caroline Ku
  • 26 july 2011

One thing you need if you are going to take creativity to the next level is a great client.

Stella Artois has always done great creative work in the UK and won it’s fair share of awards, but rarely gets mentioned when experts talk about iconic brands that push the communications envelope.

In an era of supposed attention deficit disorder, one can can argue that forcing consumers to spend lots of time with your brand smacks of self-indulgence and if you push it too far, it’s going to slap you in the face, just like Wendy.

However, the counter argument is that people are in such desperate need for meaningful and interesting experiences, if you invest the time and resources into creating something great, your brand will be rewarded.

Stella Artois is the middle of an interesting experiment which blends elements of film, theater and online to create something very different.

Black Diamond is a 1960s mystery that involves love and the theft of a priceless diamond- it gets played out online and in real London locations, where the audiences get to experience the action first hand.

As one blogger who experienced the event give us a flavor.

“Being bundled into a vintage Citroën somewhere near old street, by a man who had, seconds before, been confessing to me that “something terrible is going to happen tonight” should not be this much fun.”

You can argue from a pure marketing perspective that it’s a lot of money to reach a tiny number of people, but that’s the type of thinking that restricts creativity.

Here the client is willing to forgo that understanding that the upside of talk value and being seen and regarded as a brand innovator outweighs a meaningless CPT/CPM number.

Stella Artois Black Diamond

Ed Cotton is the Director of Strategy at BSSP, and is curious about all things relating to brands, marketing and culture. Read more at influx insights.

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