Beer Brand Eats Own Young!

I’m not going to pretend that I know the exact thought process behind this, but from what I see here it looks like the beer parents of one brand are eating their own young.

In this case, the parent is XXXX Gold, a grand old staple of the Aussie beer fraternity.  The young is a new brand on the market in XXXX Summer Bright, Lion Nathan’s Cerveza-styled entry to the market.

Lion Nathan launched XXXX Summer Bright nationally earlier this month with a campaign that included outdoor (having been tested in several Australian geographical markets over the past year).

Here’s the Summer Bright campaign…..

Summer Bright 2010 outdoor

And here’s one of at least 5 billboards I saw yesterday on a cross-town trip.

XXXGold 2010 outdoor

The creative executions are vaguely similar but it’s the media choice (outdoor) which is the factor proving my headline most strongly.

While a media blitz is one way to envelope the market with your message, when the messages are confusing (or in this case, look to argue with eachother) then the potential to negate any brand salience outcome against the other and even drive consumers to other brands is significant.  In this context that could be a real problem for the younger (Summer Bright) who’s new and trying to claw share from other brands in a well-established, well-covered and competitive market segment.

Or maybe it’s too clever.  Is it an attempt to connect the whole XXXX brand with the key-word “Summer”, so the trigger works either way as a result of the different executions across the whole desired (target) audience?

Either way it’s a risky move, because although it doesn’t happen consciously, faced with the decision of which XXXX is really for Summer, consumers potentially revert to other brands they know in the space, rather than trialing one which confused them.  Alienation of core, loyal customers is also a risk.

Confusion or cannibalism?  All will be revealed, I’m sure.  Or maybe the parents just got jealous…

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