While European countries tend to offer better work-life balance than the U.S., Stella Artois wants Americans to know it’s OK to take more breaks from the daily hustle.
Timed to Valentine’s Day, the Anheuser-Busch brand has launched “The Life Artois,” a U.S. campaign that encourages consumers to take more time to savor life with partners, friends and family. The Belgian beer brings its new tagline to life through digital ads, interactive out-of-home efforts and an ongoing experiential series.
“We know the European-inspired lifestyle is aspirational to both men and women in the U.S.,” said Lara Krug, vp of marketing for Stella Artois. “The campaign, ultimately, allows us to inspire everyone to slow down, look up and savor life with those who matter to them the most.”
The brand introduced the campaign with two digital spots created by agency Mother London, designed to bring the theme to life with animated illustrations inspired by vintage travel posters.
The “Kiss” and “Valentine’s Day” spots are an ode to the brand’s 600-year history, the latter of which depicts a couple aging backward and clinking Stella Artois chalices when they first meet. Krug said the brand opted to use distinctive illustrations to convey a European spirit and demonstrate how art can be an ad.
“The Life Artois” also includes an OOH element, with billboards in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Each billboard, dubbed a “Steal Your Feelings” wall, has an unfinished, localized love message that invites passersby to “steal” the message.
Understanding that digital love notes might take precedence over physical cards in 2020, the brand hopes people will snap photos of the messages and share them with loved ones. After Feb. 14, the brand will step in and complete the billboards with branded red illustrations.
Stella Artois is also bringing the campaign to life through experiential. On Feb. 13, the brand partnered with dating and friend-finding app Bumble to host the Stella Heartois Experience in Los Angeles. Bumble—which also worked with Mars Wrigley for a Galentine’s Day experience this week—invited 300 users to a dinner social hosted by influencer Olivia Culpo. The event included a tapas-style dinner, a flower market and a station where attendees could personalize their own chalices.
“We know that Valentine’s Day is a key cultural moment in the U.S. that also extends beyond romantic love,” Krug said. “We partnered with Bumble because they are no strangers to bringing people together.”
Another facet of the campaign included a partnership with Postmates. The brand worked with the delivery app to launch a limited-edition Valentine’s Day bundle in select markets this week. The package included a six-pack, two Chalices, a candle, a matchbox, customizable cards, satin cloth napkins and string lights.
The campaign theme will also underline the brand’s traveling Port de Stella pop-ups in 2020. The brand debuted the public activation in Miami as an alternative to a Super Bowl ad. Produced by agency Mosaic, the activation offered experiences that included a merchandise marketplace, dinners curated by The Infatuation, celebrity panels and boat rides on branded mini yachts. Krug said the brand saw the first experience in Miami as a success, drawing around 6,000 consumers across three days.
While the brand hasn’t announced where Port de Stella will travel to next, Krug said they will continue to measure the activation’s success by monitoring attendee count and social impressions through content created from each event.
“For every [brand project], our goal is to drive relevancy and frequency with our key consumers,” she said.