Stella Artois Display Named Best of the Times

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Stella Artois Display Named Best of the Times

By Ed Finkel - 11/27/2018

MinneapolisAnheuser-Busch InBev launched an in-store campaign for its Stella Artois beer during the 2017 holiday season that paid homage to the brand’s heritage and craftsmanship. Stella Artois was originally brewed to celebrate Christmas.

AB InBev turned to Rapid Displays, Chicago, to create an eye-catching, nostalgic endcap to attract and activate shoppers in nearly 2,500 stores nationwide. In stores for six weeks, the 6-foot-high, 3-foot-wide, 18-inch-deep display also caught the eye of judges in the Path to Purchase Institute’s annual Design of the Times competition, which awarded the Stella display Best of the Times for 2018.

“This was Stella’s marquis in-store presentation for the holidays,” says Alan Foshay, Midwest/Eastern vice president for Rapid Displays. “This was available for any distributor of Stella to get placed in stores. It was offered as a promotion at no charge, and the placement rate was exceptional.”

Stella and AB InBev wanted a display structurally sound enough to hold 6-, 12- and 24-packs, designed for flat-pack shipment and ease of assembly in the field, and with special features – like a garland and a lamppost – that were “trying to be as authentic as we could to the European vibe of Stella,” Foshay says.

At holiday time, Stella widens its usually narrow consumer target and geographic focus, says Michael Rudolph, senior brand manager. “During the holidays, we feel like everyone should upgrade their normal beer choice and give their friends and family the most premium beer in the U.S. If we had to pick a target occasion, it would be those who are home and hosting for the holiday season, picking up drinks for their holiday parties, or just wanting to treat themselves at their local bar or restaurant.”

The display, which also contained a special holiday gift pack with a corked 750-milliliter bottle and two limited-edition holiday chalices, was the centerpiece of a “full 360 campaign” that incorporated new digital and social content, and included a public relations push led by model and author Chrissy Teigen that gained earned media, as well as cross-merchandising offers with charcuterie and deli trays, wine and other regional selections.

“Stella Artois was originally brewed for the holidays as a gift to the town of Leuven Belgium, so every year we like to tell various aspects of this story in new, different and exciting ways,” Rudolph says. “We worked closely with a wide variety of retailers to get these pieces in market supporting features and beer-of-the-month across the U.S.” These retailers included Kroger, Safeway, Publix, Total Wine, Meijer, Hannaford, H-E-B and Vons.

The holiday door concept worked so well that some chains ordered additional sizes and versions to fit their in-store environments, says Foshay, who adds that Rapid kept the displays within the cost constraints requested by AB InBev.

Rudolph preferred not to disclose total budget, “but we always invest most heavily in the holiday timeframe as December is our No. 1 month – unusual for a beer brand,” he says.

The campaign ran in November and December 2017, during which time “sales and share were up and we reached an all-time high in share for the brand in the final weeks of December,” Rudolph adds. In addition to sales and share, Stella defined success based on overall “brand health.”

Stella used Mother New York as lead vendor, FCB for trade, VaynerMedia for digital, and 3PM for public relations, Rudolph says.

Stella Artois Holiday Door

  • Retail Category: Supermarket/Grocery
  • Activation Tactic: Freestanding, Aisle, Shipper or Pallet – Temporary
  • Client: AB InBev, New York
  • Entrant: Rapid Displays, Chicago
  • Introduction Date: Nov. 18, 2017
  • Size of run: 2,504