Select Page

Cheers to Carlsberg Lager Campaigns

Founded by Danish philanthropist and avid art collector J.C. Jacobsen in 1847, Carlsberg A/S today is a multinational brewing company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. The company’s flagship Carlsberg brand is named after Jacobsen’s son Carl.

Being a perfectionist by nature, J.C. Jacobsen in 1875 established the Carlsberg Laboratory, consisting of a Department of Chemistry, and a Department of Physiology for scientific research on brewing processes.

And it was here that Dr. Emil Christian Hansen in 1883 developed a method for producing the first clean yeast. This was an extraordinary technological discovery that J.C. Jacobsen decided to share freely with the world.

The ‘clean yeast’ brewing method revolutionised beer production, and is still used globally in most of today’s popular lagers.

Carlsberg Brand Campaigns

Over a period of several years, four entertaining communication themes have periodically driven Carlsberg’s integrated advertising campaigns globally.

‘Probably The Best Beer In The World’ selling-line, was followed by ‘That Calls For a Carlsberg’ message aimed at positioning the brand, as being a beer for the exceptional and the courageous.

Next came the ‘If Carlsberg Did…’ campaign that amusingly dramatised the laddish, over-the-top way Carlsberg would do things.

The brand’s current theme ‘The Danish Way’ is by Advertising Agency Fold7 and is centered on the lager’s Danish roots and the nation’s philosophy on life.

The campaign Integration of ‘The Danish Way’, targets multiple, consumer touch points such as packaging, TV, cinema, out of home promotions, and digital channels.

Mads Mikkelsen, one of Denmark’s most prominent and admired movie actors, is the Carlsberg campaign’s star philosophical storyteller.

1. Carlsberg Larger, The Happy Denmark Story

Advertising Agency: Fold7, London

Directed by Martin Krejci, the ‘Happy Denmark’ commercial of the ‘Danish Way’ campaign series, Mads Mikkelsen, cycles past iconic Copenhagen landmarks and philosophises about his country being lauded as one of the happiest in the world.

2. Carlsberg Lager, Delivery

Directed by Martin Krejci, and still cycling through the streets of Denmark in Carlsberg’s filmic ‘The Danish Way’ campaign, Mads Mikkelsen reflects on the idea that anything can be improved with a positive outlook on life.

Pastry with a little ‘twist’ can become a Danish classic of note, and a bicycle can be improved the Danish way to become famous, like the ‘Christiana’ that he is seen riding in the commercial, and of course, the small refinements that have made Carlsberg, probably the best beer in the world.

3. Carlsberg Pilsner, Unfiltered

Advertising Agency: Fold7, London, UK

The introduction of Carlsberg’s Unfiltered Pilsner by storyteller Mads Mikkelsen, reveals the actor becoming more, and more unkempt and rugged looking as he talks.

Directed by Martin Krejci, Mikkelsen ‘unfiltered’ appearance serves as an amusing, visual analogy of the new Pilsner’s more natural and rougher qualities that retain some of the naturally occurring yeast, to create a Danish-style Pilsner beer, with a hazy colour, and a crisper, richer taste.

4. Carlsberg Lager, If We Did Haircuts

Advertising Agency: 72andSunny, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Directed by Francois Rousselet, this amusingly surreal vision of the perfect Carlsberg Barber Shop for lads, stars model Raquel San Nicolas as a hairdresser and of course, model, ice-cold Carlsberg lagers.

5. Carlsberg Lager, If We Did Supermarkets

Advertising Agency: 72andSunny, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Directed by Martin Kalina, this entertaining Carlsberg depiction of how they would organise supermarkets for lads, is another highly watchable commercial in the campaign series.

6. Carlsberg Lager, If We Did Your Mum

Advertising Agency: The Marketing Store Worldwide (TMSW), London, UK

For the launch of a social media campaign for Mother’s Day, Carlsberg released this commercial of a conversation over a pint in the Mother’s Arms pub, between comedians Lloyd Griffith, and Tom Davis that was captured by Director of Photography, Robbie Knox.

The repartee of backhanded compliment rejoinders about their Mums makes for a highly amusing commercial that avoids all the timeworn Mother’s Day message clichés.

I think Copywriter Ross Nance must have had an absolute ball scripting the witty dialogue for the commercial that was seen by over 12 million people in one day and widely reported in the press.

7. Carlsberg Lager, Spartacus

Advertising Agency Fold7, London, UK

Produced by Angel Films, Budapest, and superbly directed by David Lodge, the Carlsberg ‘Spartacus’ commercial is a very watchable, modern parody of Stanley Kubrick’s 1960 box-office hit of the same name.

His epic historical drama that won 4 Oscars was inspired by the life story of Spartacus, a slave who led a revolt for freedom against the might of Imperial Rome.

The Carlsberg Spartacus commercial’s theme is about doing the right thing and standing by your friends, and depicts a scenario of office workers uniting to protect a colleague from a Twitter blunder; a brave act ‘That calls for a Carlsberg.’

8. Carlsberg Lager, The Crate Escape

Advertising Agency: Fold7, London, UK

Carlsberg’s ‘The Crate Escape’ is an enjoyable parody of the 1963 John Sturges epic war film ‘The Great Escape’, that’s based on a true story of an intrepidly planned escape from a German POW Camp by British Commonwealth prisoners.

Directed by Peter Lydon, this Carlsberg story plays out in a remote, luxury health spa where some men, have been forced to join their partners.

Feeling ‘incarcerated’ by the all-female spa ‘jailors’, the men soon bond and join forces in making their weekend more enjoyable by planning and executing a Carlsberg ‘crate escape’, and proving that beer does taste better when you’ve earned it.

The soundtrack features music from the Elmer Bernstein score for ‘The Great Escape’.

9. Carlsberg Lager, Putting Friends To The Test

Advertising Agency: Duval Guillaume Modem, Antwerp, Belgium

Carlsberg’s brief to the agency was to give new meaning to the concept of friendship in beer advertising by positioning their Premium Lager as a reward for people showing courage.

On the Agency’s website they explained how they executed this multi award-winning brand activation commercial for television and online viewing.

“We set up a reality experience: young men called their best mates to rescue them in the middle of the night. They were told that they had lost a poker game and urgently needed someone to bring cash money. Otherwise they couldn’t leave the room. Nearly all the friends turned up.”

“At the reveal, you witness true friendship at its best, with an emotional ending. As a nice extra, the participating friends now have an eternal visual proof of their friendship.”

The Carlsberg’ Friendship Test’ motivated over 4 million views and over 400.000 shares globally in its first week, and over 160 million earned media impressions in the first two weeks at the estimated value of over 4 million dollars.

10. Carlsberg Lager, Cinemagoers Courage Test

Advertising Agency: Duval Guillaume Modem, Antwerp, Belgium

The Agency staged this Carlsberg Brand Activation in the Kinepolis cinema complex in Brussels. Cinemagoers reactions to the activation were filmed, and edited for a campaign, that rapidly went viral, and was featured on countless blogs and news sites all over the world.

16 million YouTube views were motivated in a few weeks, and more than 2 million Facebook shares. Multi Advertising Awards followed which included:

Cannes Gold Lion in Promo & Activation
Cannes Gold Lion in Outdoor
Cannes Gold Lion in Media
Cannes Silver Lion in Film
Cannes Silver Lion in PR
Eurobest Gold
Eurobest Silver X 3
IAB Mixx Awards, Gold
London International Awards, Silver
Caples Awards, Gold
Oneshow Silver