AB InBev’s latest marketing stunt is rather unusual: its popular Jupiler brand will disappear from the shelves until July. In order to “support” the Red Devils at the World Cup football (or to benefit from their popularity), it will be rebranded to Belgium.
Alcohol-free version does not change
Every Belgian news site reported on it yesterday: as every reference to Jupiler had been taken away from the brewery’s buildings in Jupille, the company referred to today’s press conference for more information. Would the company actually dare to halt its flagship product? Obviously not: it was all part of a marketing campaign that leads up to the World Cup football this summer. We will see Jupiler in stores again, somewhere mid-July.
Jupiler has been a partner of the Belgian football association for thirty years (shown by the fact that the top division is actually called the Jupiler Pro League) and therefore it makes sense that we do something special to support our Red Devils in Russia, the largest beer group in the world said. The first division will not alter its name however, because it is tied to Jupiler 0,0 - its alcohol-free version. That particular brand will keep its name throughout the summer, because it is still “too new in the market” to be changed.
The campaign may be unusual, but definitely is not unique: AB InBev did something similar in the United States, turning its Budweiser brand into “America” for a while. It is not clear whether Jupiler will also be transformed into Belgium abroad.