The Case of Mahou-San Miguel, a Success Strategy for Commercial Brands
CasesStrategy DocumentsC10 / 2012BrandThe Case ofMahou-San Miguel,a Success Strategy forCommercial Brands What do product brands have to do in order to shorten the distance between themselves and the consumers, especially with the youngest segments of the market? Communication with these segments is becoming more and more difficult due to the new digital opportunities that furnish young people with more power and control over brands and distance them from traditional advertising. In 1996, Shandy, the pioneering brand of beer contains only 0.9% of alcohol and belongs to the mixed with citrus-ﬂavoured soda, was launched category of soft drinks). on the market by Cruzcampo. The national leader of the industry Mahou-San Miguel, repeated Campaign aimed at differentiation this move in 2005 with Mixta, which initially In 2007, the owner of Mixta – a name originally captured a low market share as compared to its conceived to differentiate the product in this main competitor, although it took over DLemon category of drinks, which by that time had already of GrupoDamm. assumed the name of the pioneering brand, as it often occurs in many industries,– decided to In Spain, bottled beer mixed with soda is launch the first communication campaign outside 40% distributed via Horeca (out of home its traditional distribution channel – promotions at consumption), and 60% through the Food the point of sales and at restaurants – designed by channel (home consumption). More than 50% of the international advertising agency Vinizius Young sales are generated during summer and the target & Rubicam. The campaign focused on the rational population are young people between 18 and message in the conventional style, highlighting 30 years, 54% females and 46% males, who are the functional attributes of the product (freshness) described as moderate consumers and consume as well as an emotional message and alignment the drink out of home, during the day, using this with the target segment (youth, dynamism and drink more as a refreshment than beer (the drink common values): “Mixta, the Shandy of MahouThe document was prepared by Corporate Excellence and contains references, among other sources, to the statements made by AngélicaHernández (Mixta’sBrand Manager), Chiqui Búa (CEO of Publicisin Spain) and Carlos Magro (Design Director at Interbrand Iberia)during the Branding Days event organised by the Complutense University in Madrid on January 17 and 18, 2012.
The Case of Graph 1: Market Share by cheap, “home video” style that were highly Mahou-San Miguel, successful, including such activities as casting of cats a Success Strategy for Commercial Brands Shandy CC through social networks like Facebook and Tuenti, SM 00 Manzana with almost half a million fans. The campaigns that SM 00 Té limón followed were titled “Love at first Mixta”, “Mixto MiXta and Mixta”, “Disecadox”, “Nombrex” or the above- Dlemmon mentioned “Free Willix”, with 28 different versions FD Manzana in the first year, all of them pre-tested. FD Limón In the same way, innumerable unofficial webpages of the brand and “fakes” have been created (simulations or home versions) on YouTube: consumers were Source: Grupo Mahou-San Miguel, 2009. creating their own content and sharing it, thus creating a true social phenomenon, which became a trend and spread through word of mouth, boosting the sales (by 56% in 2008, 31% in 2009 and 16% in with a refreshing flavour of lemon. Experience it 2010). In 2011, the campaign received the Golden with your friends”. Prize of the Effective Advertising Award, organised by the Spanish Association of Advertisers. The product However, according to Mixta’s Brand Manager “The Angélica Hernández, the campaign was not fully snatched a significant market share from Shandy and its growth in the category continues globally. challenge effective due to the fact that the target audience shunned the advertising, which was incorrectly and was that belatedly using the codes shared by young people: The changes also affected the logo, the package and the label of the brand, highlighting the most Mixta, the music and the language used in the campaign had already been out of date. Another reason was nonconformist and rebellious values, following the a brand that young people more than any other segment of dynamic and even aggressive youth aesthetics, the expression of which culminated in the X of Mixtaproduced by the population expect that the advertising should speak to their hearts rather than their minds. – which then became a symbol – emphasising traditional the colours, especially the yellow and green, and modernised fonts. That’s why Mixta had to revise the campaign, to advertising, turn the product into a brand, change the manner should stay of addressing the audience and create its own ‘Know the Mixta’: more than communication codes in addition to appealing to relevant the young people (especially University students positioning, an ideology The key to success of Mixta and the described campaign over time between 18 and 25 years old), so that they could was the original form in which young people told their use them absolutely free, at complete discretion and and retain in that way would adopt these codes, appreciating absurd and strange stories, completely out of this world. Originality was not an end in itself, according its strength their intelligence. Chiqui Búa, from Publicis to Carlos Magro, the Director for Interbrand Iberia in Spain, suggested this strategy to Mixta andat all points developed an advertising campaign, in which the Design. The objective was to break an invisible glass wall, which separated the brand from its audience and of contact main objective was to regain and highlight the hampered effective communication. product’s engagement with young people. with the consumer” As a result, since 2008, this idea has been realised in Interbrand analysed the range of commercial brands held by the Mahou-San Miguel Group and the successive campaigns – most of them with animals as main characters: pigs, cats, penguins and ducks, such role of each brand in the Company´s portfolio of as duck Willix and the campaign for its liberation – products. Interbrand also analysed the role of the that aimed to surprise the young audience, connect master brand Mahou, which accounted for 15% in and drive to absurd, to appeal to what is considered the visual identity of the product mix – similar to unexpected and weird by this audience. The “Know the case of Mixta – as well as the relationship with the Mixta” campaign was a success in the first year, the Company’s brands family. with more than 20 mn views and downloads on YouTube, almost 20,000 subscribers and higher than For that purpose, some symbolic and distinctive average evaluation of the brand according to opinion elements have been defined, such as the colour –at polls (favourite brand in the category with an average the same time preserving the distinctive red symbol of 63%, record result of 75%, 17 points ahead of the of Mahou – the verbal identity, the illustration and market leader and 11 points above the starting point, the innovation. In this way, Mixta was able to easily identification with the product, association with adjust to the digital environment, which became something modern and up-to-date). the foundation for repositioning and reinvention of the brand – and develop a flexible platform that can In the following 2009, 2010 and 2011, the campaign be changed and adjusted to the tastes and moods of repeated with a series of similar videos, characterised the consumers. Cases 2
The Case of Graph 2: Trademark Guide Mahou-San Miguel Mahou-San Miguel, a Success Strategy for Commercial Brands MAHOU CINCO Excelente cerveza tipo Pilsen de fermentación baja (Lager). La elaboración con las ESTRELLAS mejores variedades de lúpulo y levadura le da su inconfundible carácter. Su intenso sabor, su cuerpo y un suave pero persistente amargor hacen que sea la cerveza más apreciada por el consumidor español. Su contenido alcohólico es de 5,5º. SAN MIGUEL ESPECIAL Cerveza de tipo Pilsen de gran popularidad y penetración en todo el territorio nacional. De color oro pálido, combina la suavidad con un sabor intenso y lupulado. Su contenido alcohólico es de 5,4º. REINA Elaborada según la ley de pureza de 1516, tiene un aroma de intensidad alta-media. Es una cerveza refrescante, de textura ligera y equilibrada y con sabor afrutado. Su contenido alcohólico es de 5,5º. MAHOU CLÁSICA Todo un símbolo del sabor tradicional de Mahou. Cerveza tipo Pilsen con un sabor suave, muy refrescante y con un ligero toque de amargor. Su espuma abundante y cremosa es una característica de las cervezas Mahou. Su contenido alcohólico es de 4,8º. SAN MIGUEL 1516 Elaborada exclusivamente con malta de cebada, esta cerveza se produce según estrictos procesos tradicionales que datan de hace casi 500 años. Aun con un grado de alcohol moderado, 1516 posee un intenso sabor a extractos de malta y lúpulo finos. Su contenido alcohólico es de 4,2º. LAIKER El proceso de elaboración natural con fermentación controlada seguido por Mahou produce una cerveza baja en alcohol que conserva a la vez todas las características propias de una excelente cerveza rubia. Una cerveza que puede tomarse a todas horas sin perder nada del sabor Mahou. Su contenido alcohólico es de 0,85º. SAN MIGUEL 0,0% Es la cerveza sin alcohol de San Miguel. Un producto de alta calidad que incorpora toda la tradición y el saber hacer de la cerveza San Miguel. Hecha a partir de la selección de las mejores maltas y lúpulos, mantiene todo el carácter y el sabor de una Pilsen con un 0,0% de alcohol. SAN MIGUEL 0,0% La primera cerveza española con un toque de manzana. Un producto que “Mixta MANZANA amplía la gama de cervezas SIN ofreciendo un sabor diferente: a la San Miguel 0,0% de siempre se le ha añadido zumo natural de manzana verde. became an MIXTA Cerveza con gaseosa con sabor a limón. De bajo contenido en alcohol (0,9º) es refrescante, con un definido carácter cítrico y un toque de amargor. ideology, a Para poder disfrutar de su sabor conviene tomarla muy fría.platform for SAN MIGUEL ECO La primera cerveza española elaborada con ingredientes procedentes de la agricultura ecológica. Contiene malta de cebada y lúpulos procedentes de cultivos especiales que siguen estrictamentecommunica- las normas establecidas para la agricultura ecológica. Su contenido alcohólico es de 4,2. tion, where SAN MIGUEL 0,0% CON TÉ SABOR LIMÓN La original mezcla de cerveza San Miguel 0,0% con extracto de té y un ligero toque de limón, da como resultado un producto con un sabor sorprendente. the brand MAHOU NEGRA Dirigida a consumidores de cerveza sin alcohol y que buscan nuevos sabores. Cerveza tipo Múnich elaborada al estilo tradicional, cuya malta ha sido tostada en su justo can express punto. Una cerveza que se distingue por su color oscuro y aroma único y cuyo sabor logra un perfecto equilibrio entre la malta tostada y el lúpulo. Su contenido alcohólico es de 5,5º. what it SAN MIGUEL NOSTRUM Es la cerveza de categoría “extra” de San Miguel. De color ámbar luminoso y burbuja pequeña thinks” y abundante, destaca por el equilibrio de su sabor. Pertenece a la categoría de las cervezas más fuertes, tiene un fino cuerpo y gran buqué. Su contenido alcohólico es de 6,2º. Marcas internacionales distribuidas por Mahou-San Miguel CARLSBERG Cerveza premium internacional, que nace en 1847 en Copenhague y hoy en día está presente en más de 40 países. Es de estilo centroeuropeo, con sabor suave y ligeramente afrutado. Su contenido alcohólico es de 5º. KRONENBOURG 1664 Es la cerveza premium internacional con más carácter, líder en Francia y con una amplia presencia internacional. De sabor seco, con un aroma intenso y afrutado y un punto de amargor diferencial. Su contenido alcohólico es de 5º. Source: Grupo Mahou-San Miguel, 2007. The challenge for Mahou-San Miguel was also platform for communication, where the brand can that a brand like Mixta, produced by traditional express what it thinks and allow the consumers to advertising, should stay relevant over time and express themselves in an open manner, saying what retain its strength at all points of contact with they think about different things: if the brand thinks the consumer. That’s why the brand had to break that a flying pig is funny, it can tell others about this, from all conventions established before, take and if the consumers also think that it is funny, they advantage of social networks and adopt a new can share this story with their friends and tell others social focus. about it in their own way. According to the CEO of Publicis España, Mixta managed to attribute a more That’s why “Know the Mixta” translated into “Likes” rebellious, liberated and non-conformist image to on Facebook and Tuenti, became an ideology, a Mahou-San Miguel Group. Cases 3
The Case of Conclusion: a campaign that the other hand resulted in diffused positioning,Mahou-San Miguel, cannibalised the brand? put in the shade by the visibility and success of thea Success Strategy for advertising campaign.Commercial Brands Some of the criticisms waged against the Mixta campaign in the last few years by some marketing, communication and advertising professionals are Certainly, in the beginning Mixta saw a significant related to the core strategy suggested by the agency increase of sales; but the number of downloads on and adopted by the company. YouTube and the number of fans on Facebook and Tuenti turned out to be inversely proportionate to The launch of videos that aimed to establish direct the sales processing capacity of the company. This contact with the target audience of the brand and makes one think how difficult it is to make sure the viral campaign in social networks and in the that the chosen approach is effective in the long digital media in general, led to a significant growth run and in terms of the brand’s strength and its of awareness and recognition of the brand, but on economic performance. Cases 4