Beck's: Be Kreativ

As Beck’s we wanted to help “smart creatives” follow their passion and unlock their city’s creative opportunities.

In November 2015, we pitched and won the Beck's account for the island of Ireland.

Beck's aim was to create an engaging digital, social and partnership campaign that positioned Beck's as an iconic, progressive beer for the “smart creative". Easy.

So here's the story. Beck's had a great creative progressive history. Beck's had been “turning beer into art since 1874", remember the iconic Damien Hirst bottle? However, from our extensive research we soon realised that the younger creative generation of today don't know this history and many have no emotional connection whatsoever to Beck's.

We established that “smart creatives" are ambitious, social, diverse, creative and very individual; and they're a pretty discerning bunch. So we had to forge, and not force, connections with them.

We decided to connect with our target group through their passions, as we know that they align themselves with brands that have a passion and a purpose. Think airbnb, Patagonia and Toms.

From research groups, TGI analysis and other research we determined that “smart creatives" love their city, and they pride themselves on spotting opportunities to progress their city. Our target group are creative activists, creative participators and people that simply enjoy being part of creative communities.

And when we say “creative" we mean people involved in music, art and design, technology, food, fashion and a whole lot more.

Beck's Be Kreativ in partnership with Hot Press sponsor a photoshoot for up-and-coming band BARQ.

As Beck's we wanted to help “smart creatives" follow their passion and unlock their city's creative opportunities. But as we said – our target group are very savvy. And they're quite sceptical of big brands playing in their space. We knew we had to connect on their terms in their existing spaces and channels or we will never connect at all.

We knew they were not consuming content on the usual go-to places for 18 to 25s i.e. the Joe.ies, Entertainment.ies, etc. They are following Bodytonic and The Bernard Shaw on Facebook/Twitter. They are getting email reminders from The Ruby Sessions. They are checking out Le Cool, Nialler9, Hot Press, The Thin Air and Totally Dublin for things to do. They follow Resident Adviser and The Greedy Pig. They are following graffiti artists, festivals, Happenings, IFI, Block T, Indigo & Cloth and creative organisations on social media.

“Smart creatives" are following, reading and engaging with most of these creative and progressive groups, organisations and brands. And many of these are operating with interconnected channels, driving mass conversation within the smart creative community.

A 'love is in the air' activation on Love Lane, Dublin for Beck's Be Kreativ campaign.

So how do we go about infiltrating these communities? It couldn't be the conventional social media approach whereby you rollout the odd topical piece of content piece around Halloween, some heavy product push for 20% of content and then other more “entertaining" content that somehow tenuously links back to the brand.

We knew that our target group are on social but don't consider it particularly “cool". They're very passive on social and you cannot ask a lot of them. They only really engage with brands that “get" them and their passions. And they don't engage with 95% of brands at all. A tough crowd.

So going back to the beginning. Our target doesn't know about Beck's creative and progressive history. Therefore Beck's can't come from nowhere and claim to be creative, progressive and iconic. Beck's must live this first. To earn the right to talk about creativity. To begin to be credible. Again.

So how does a brand become iconic and progressive to an urban and discerning young audience? It's a difficult one.

Our creative strategy centred on “change". People and information are moving faster than ever before, and our cities exist in a permanent state of change. With mobile technology putting a supercomputer in everybody's back pocket, barriers of entry that have stood for decades are melting away.

Power has shifted from companies to consumers. Individuals, small groups and communities are beginning to see that they can have a massive impact. They have the freedom to experiment with new ideas. To fail and try again. To do amazing things, amazingly fast.

And the people who are realising they can have the biggest impact of all are the ones we call “smart creatives".

Steve Davis, 6-Time World Snooker Champ, Live DJ Set as part of Beck's Be Kreativ sponsorship of Out To Lunch Weekender.

They're led by desire and passion, and they thrive on innovation. They question the status quo and approach things differently. They are independent thinkers who love making something better.

Smart creative culture is the reason why fashion brands are moving their flagship stores into shipping containers. Why offices are starting to look like bars and architects want to design houses on legs.

Our cities are no longer the product of master plans and fixed-frame works but are increasingly being shaped by citizen-led initiatives and temporary projects by people hoping to make their cities better.

So how does Beck's stand out in a world full of noise for “smart creatives"?

We recognise that creativity can't be owned. But it can be unlocked*. *subtle nod to the iconic Beck's key logo.

We've started to collaborate with our target. To engage. To prompt. To provoke. To disrupt.

We get noticed by heroing brilliant up-and-coming creatives and interrupting the everyday. Not brash and bombastic but brilliant and beautiful. Our interruptions are in tune with the lives and thoughts of our “smart creative" audience – imaginative, funny, soulful, brave and individual.

And the campaign, it's an always-on island of Ireland campaign called Be Kreativ. It doesn't hit you in the face immediately that Beck's are the ones behind it. It couldn't. It would have turned off our target. We have to earn the right to be on their radar.

We know that every creative needs an audience. Be Kreativ is giving up and coming creatives a platform – in the form of a website, owned social channels and media placements in Hot Press, Totally Dublin and The Thin Air (publishers our target know and trust) – to connect, celebrate and showcase their talents across Ireland throughout the year. We'll commission some. We'll help others. But we'll be championing all who dare to create. They may be a musician, painter, writer, sculptor, fashion designer, publisher, coder or beyond. All they have to do is #BeKreativ and we'll showcase their work.

So what have we done so far… we've done a lot, including sponsorship of events that "smart creatives" are attending - The Beatyard, AVA, Hit The North, Out To Lunch Weekender & more, and the results have been pretty special. And the word is spreading. More on this in the coming months.

To find out more check out the Becks's BeKreativ campaign at