There’s a difference, are you a man? Or are you THE man? 

Carling Black Label

Carling Black Label is one of the stronger lagers in South African, known for quenching thirst for over 40 years. The beers origin lies in Canada where it was first brewed in the early 1900’s. Since this beer was introduced in South Africa, it has been associated with masculinity and rewarding hard work. Carling Black Label has won a variety of awards which speak to its quality and to the way in which it has become a part of the positive and refreshing South African story.

Be the Coach!

Carling Black Label has developed an integrated campaign, the ‘Be the Coach’ campaign for the purpose of raising their level of advertising. The objective of this campaign was to give the consumers a new and innovative digital component that would allow their involvement beyond just voting. This campaign was developed to give passionate soccer supporters the chance to live their dream of being the coach of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

Fans can be a part of the thrilling experience by purchasing a Black Label beer which would earn the consumer one vote. This strategy contributed largely to the increased market share of Carling Black Label and it opened the accessibility of the campaign to every South African as the participation only require that the consumer SMS a code from their black label bottles to vote, free of charge.

The Black Label ‘Be the Coach’ campaign required that the agency Ogilvy Cape Town – who played a central role in executing the campaign – and Brandtone – who lead the mobile execution – work directly with South African Breweries to achieve great success. Thus, the campaign continued to expand and reach its consumers on a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Mxit and on the ‘Be the Coach’ mobile site that was created.

Target market

The ‘Be the Coach’ campaign is segmented according to a broad gender demographic, this means that it is targeted at men who are huge supporters of soccer, the men who would usually coach from the living rooms of their home or from the grand stands in stadiums and go unheard. This campaign and Black Label understands its men and their passions, therefore, gives them the rare opportunity to participate during the game and ultimately, the opportunity to be the coach.

Familiar technologies led to breakthrough levels of participation

In order to make sure that everyone could take part in the campaign they used the accessible and most familiar media technologies in a new, innovative way engaging their consumers and creating a new consumer experience which allowed them to be literally “be the coach”. Carling Black Label used the USSD [Unstructured Supplementary Service Data] entry mechanic to receive the “coaches”’ votes for the soccer players’ positions. USSD allowed consumers to enter the code from Carling Black Label bottles and select their team, free of charge. Based on the behavioral knowledge South African have due to the USSD Code usages mostly utilized in order to regulate costs, Black Label took advantage of that and created a campaign with accessible digital elements. Moreover, they used IVR [Interactive Voice Recording] in order to excite and engage consumers especially ahead of the derby as well as SMS encouraging real-time participation during the game, thus the consumers could choose a player to substitute off the field.

cbl-champion-cup-3d-logo_v1 and Digital PR activities

On top of that, Black Label introduced a mobile site, a simple but effective tool which allowed the fans to view their team, the current state of voting and information about all the players. The Website was easy to use and the consumers could share their voted teams on Facebook and Twitter. This platform was used extensively by the consumers and became the campaigns headquarter.

Moreover, the campaign was spread also throughout all the media, especially through digital PR activities. The press and above all the consumers themselves led the campaign and thus the Carling Black Label Cup to be the word-of-mouth conversation in the media.

Result and Succes of the Campaign

  • 10.5 billion votes in 7 weeks via the mobile platform.
  • 83,000 fans who packed the stadium on Derby Day.
  • 40,000 live substitution SMS votes.
  • 11 Campaign Awards.

The Carling Black Label “Be the Coach” campaign reached a new level of advertising and led to breakthrough levels of participation.