ThaiBev's Chang Beer has undergone some rebranding as it expands regionally, including shedding its brown bottle to adopt a sleeker green packaging in 2015. It has also shifted tone in its branding and marketing.
Whereas it once sponsored a lot of sporting contests and loud music events, the brand's more recent Urban Pulse campaign platform takes a different tack. First launched in Vietnam with Iris Singapore earlier this year, the platform presents a softer message: ‘Lamiat’, the Thai philosophy that espouses the pursuit of perfection through closely forged kinship. The storytelling-based work comprises documentaries about hip-hop artists in the region.
Vietnamese artist Vietmax and contemporaries were first featured on Vice Media in May (see "Chang Beer spotlights Vietmax, Wowy, other Vietnam hip-hop artists"), while the brand has recently worked with Hong Kong's Masta Mic, profiled in a Hong Kong Free Press feature here, along with drummer Joey Lam, DJ Mirror and rapper Big Sammy. The documentary on Masta Mic will be released on Hypebeast.
The partnership also includes three limited-edition fashion capsule collections which have been specially designed by MastaMic and will be available via MastaMic’s online store as well as selected streetwear retail stores. Besides celebrating local talent, Chang Beer said Urban Pulse provides a global platform to hip-hop originators.
Shawn Foo, deputy creative director at Iris Singapore, emphasised that Urban Pulse is less about building brand awareness in the targeted markets than bringing consumers closer to the brand’s value through engaging experiences. “We knew we had to introduce it to a wider audience in a way that they would understand and bring to life the elements of craftsmanship and authenticity that was relevant to them. Working with like-minded craftsmen like MastaMic who embody this spirit allowed us to tell the story in an engaging way, whilst giving them a platform to be recognized and showcase their craft,” he told Campaign Asia-Pacific via email.
Furthermore, he said a more intimate collaboration with artists helps to deliver a more authentic message. “It’s also the brand putting attention on the smaller details, the craft, passion and dedication that goes behind the success that we see on stage which would otherwise be potentially missed or glossed over on larger-scale music events,” said Foo.
Earlier, Chang Beer launched its Sensory Trails activation, which introduces global audiences to Thai food. The travelling event is slated to appear in Singapore at the end of August.
While Foo pointed out that the Urban Pulse platform would mainly focus on “capturing the hearts and minds” of beer consumers, the common thread between the two platforms remains the embodiment of the Lamiat philosophy through narratives celebrating craftmanship and the journeys of the artistes, he added.
Client: Chang Beer
Global Head of Marketing: Ronnie Teo
Regional Marketing Manager: Kenny Tang
Agency: Iris Singapore
Executive Creative Director: Ed Cheong
Deputy Creative Director: Shawn Foo
Senior Creative: Royston Ang
Creative: Cassandra Sim
Creative: Dominic Ho
Planning Director: James Honda-Pinder
Regional CEO: Luke Nathans
Account Director: Stephen Moran
Associate Account Director: Cheryl Cheong
Executive Producer: Tasmin Vosloo