Direct choice: Artois Bock

The UK premium lager category was virtually invented by Stella Artois.

Its 'reassuringly expensive' positioning opened our shores to a flotilla of exotic bottles, while outlasting all the new arrivals.

But once a brand earns the nickname 'wife beater' it is safe to assume its positioning has drifted. Stella remains a fiercely competitive product, but it is not the bar call it once was and Interbrew's portfolio has room for something like it, only more so.

Of the qualities essential for a 'premium' tag, brand history is paramount.

To be great, a product needs a suitably intriguing story, and Interbrew has resurrected a bottle with a yarn to put most beers in the shade. Artois Bock, apparently, was a beer advocated by the 'free thinkers' at Belgium's Leuven University. So enamoured were the academics that the brew became known as 'Prof Artois'. To tell this tale in sufficient colour, bottles of the beer are being despatched to suitably influential people.

Arriving in iPod-like packaging, the box splits in two. In one half lies an unbranded bottle, and in the other some literary product info. 'Artois Bock is a somewhat problematic field of study,' it begins.

It is beautifully written, evocatively illustrated and a reminder that, sometimes, direct mail is about as premium as communication gets.

- Mailing: Draft London.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers