Most men drink beer to become Italian. Irresistibly cool. Handsome. Charming. So why not drink a beer that actually is Italian?

SABMiller had acquired a new brewery. Peroni. A little known niche brand that was mostly sold in a pizza franchise.

But there was something about this brand. And SABMiller wanted to unleash its potential.

Peroni at the time was talking beer in the familiar codes of global beer culture. Football, motor racing and a night out with the lads. And it was only really Italian in the choice of the team, the car and the language on the night.

The brief was simple. How do you create a different kind of beer brand? One that would work globally? One that would appeal across cultures? That could operate in markets that had different levels of beer ‘savvy’. All while complementing the SABMiller portfolio and galvanising the internal sales and marketing teams.

As with many an international beer brand, the answer lay in its homeland: La Bella Italia.

Exploring the cultural codes of Italianness uncovered a wealth of routes to be explored. From the rural idyll of the countryside to the darkness of Italian masculinity and the preening display of ‘la passagiata’.

And spending time with Italianophiles around the world helped to resolve the challenge of engaging the leading edge connoisseurs of New York and London, while still holding the patriotic interest of Italians in ‘our beer’.

Concepts were tested globally. Stealomatics and advertorials brought the potential brand character to life. And the answer? Italian style.

A brand that could evoke the effortless glamour of Italian fashion. The timeless allure of Italian art and culture. The passion of Italian life.

The launch was magnificent in its delivery of the brand promise. A Peroni ‘style store’ was revealed in a top fashion district in London. Vespa scooters transported guests to events. Iconic advertising mirrored Italian style at every touchpoint. The brand became a lifestyle statement rather than a beverage choice.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro has launched in more than 20 global markets. Growing strongly against market trends, it’s the pride of SABMiller and Italy.

How did we Add Value?
We steeped ourselves in all things Italian. From Dante to the Sopranos. And half way along the Via del Corso, just when we feared the “via era smarrita”, came the thought that this could be a brand that lived on the catwalk. Peroni. Possibly the coolest beer in the world. What could be more Italian?

  • Jaslin Goh

    This is a great Case, possible to send the markting campaign, like TVC, Print, publicity etc?
    Thanks a million!

  • Added Value

    Hey Jaslin – unfortunately, we don’t hold the creative – the ad agency on record will. Will see what I can find for you.

    thanks for the comment!

  • Bruno Romano

    Like many Anglo-Italians living in London, Peroni has been part of our heritage and one of my favourite premium beers for many years. It’s refreshing, has a unique taste and is one of the coolest beer brands around. And, yes, it’s also unmistakably Italian!

    Yesterday evening at home I drank it straight from the bottle, which was strange for me, as I tend to pour it into a chilled glass before drinking.

    However, making a closer inspection of its labelling and seeing it was still being ‘Made in Italy’ I was pleasantly reassured – but wondered what would be the impact if this iconic Italian beer brand moved its production facilities to another country in the EU to make cost savings? Would this make me less brand loyal to purchase it again, or make no difference at all?

    Interestingly enough, I used to drink the French beer Kronenbourg 1664. I recall that several years ago it moved some of its production from France to the UK. For me, at least, it never tasted quite as good as before and I literally stopped buying it over night. It’s also common knowledge these days that the Saint Miguel beer brand is brewed under licence in the UK and controlled by the Carlsberg Group.

    But I’d like to open up this consumer/brand debate on whether the Peroni brand is likely to be still brewed in Italy, in say 5-10 years, to meet increased global demand – as it has been to the ‘original recipe’ since 1963 – and how will this really impact on its brand positioning and brand equity, as the authentic Italian premium beer?

    Will Peroni Senior Management eventually give in and follow the lead of its drink competitors by producing abroad to maximise profits, similar to how some Italian fashion brands have also behaved like Diesel and Emporio Armani?

    Surely, the role of the ‘Country of Origin’ of the Peroni beer brand will be more crucial in years to come in maintaining its position as a truly Italian global brand? Or will we, as consumers, care less where it’s actually brewed in future so long as it continues to be readily available and quenches our thirst?

    Mamma mia, what a dilemma!

    Bruno Romano

  • Barbara Balletta

    If with Sab Miller Peroni has a new life, well done! I love everything able to revitalize brands and unlock their potential ! …especially if they are italians.

    Italy itself is a brand and being an italian who has been living abroad for 7 years in completely different countries (Hungary, Turkey, France, Spain and now London) I notice always the same pattern about how people look at me (what I wear, what I eat, how I cook, the restaurants I like, my favorite places…) and what they expect from me (always smiling, friendly, sharing)… incredible and fantastic!
    It should be fun to build a brand key for the brand “Italy”!

    In bocca al lupo, Barbara

    • Added Value

      Thanks for the comment Barbara. There’s nothing quite like Italian style :)