Red Stripe’s BEAR Campaign

Red Stripe recently launched what I call its ‘BEAR’ marketing campaign, which started out with teaser ads online, in the press and on television. The teaser ads featured bear paw marks and scratches on newspaper pages, television ads and even as part of the set decoration on the popular weekly local television program, ER. Interestingly, one popular local marketer implied on Twitter that there was no ‘teasing’, because “signs/stalls at the food stop o/side m’ville been deckd out wt claws etc..screamin Red Stripe“.

There was also a staged/fake robbery at the Red Stripe plant (see YouTube video below), an apparent attempt to get the campaign to go viral from the get-go, but based on the number of views of the videos on YouTube and pictures on Twitter-picture sharing sites, it didn’t seem to gain much traction. No traction? Yes, no traction … between the 10th of August (the day the ‘robbery’ happened) and the 12th of August, there were only 13 mentions of the Red Stripe ‘robbery’ on Twitter. The ‘News Footage’ from the robbery was posted by Rockwildaz on YouTube on August 12, and has accumulated only 1656 views (as of right now) since then. All the teaser videos on Red Stripe’s special YouTube page for this campaign – – have less than 400 views each (as of right now). Compare that to the ‘Nobody Canna Cross It’ remix video which shot past 100,000 views in its first few days (p.s. it’s now at 1.7 million views).

The teasers were replaced this week by a new TV ad called “Mission ImPAWSible” (see below) which shows a S.W.A.T. team trying to apprehend a bear that has broken into the Red Stripe plant, and this TV ad along with new newspaper, Facebook and Google ads prompt persons to visit to see how this story unfolds, and “discover where the trail ends”.

I must commend Red Stripe on how elaborate this campaign has been, we’re all waiting to see how it ends. I’m very happy also about the key role that the Internet has played in this campaign, because I’m hopeful that this will help to prompt other local marketers to start putting a more serious chunk of their advertising budget toward Internet.

My problem with Red Stripe’s BEAR campaign is mainly about the concept. Yes, they’re doing a play on words, but there are no ‘bears’ in Jamaica, so that makes it seem a bit ridiculous [it’s possible though, that this was in fact their intention], and they also incorporate other non-Jamaican elements (such as the S.W.A.T. team). Red Stripe is ‘our beer’, a global Jamaican brand, but there’s nothing ‘Jamaican’ about this BEAR campaign, and I don’t think there’s anything about it that’s going to make the tens of thousands of beer drinkers who switched to Magnum and other beverages switch back to  Red Stripe.

In my opinion, what they really need to be doing is reconnecting with the music-loving audience in Jamaica, the same audience that they said goodbye to back in 2008 when they made the decision to stop sponsoring live music events in Jamaica (because of negative and worrying trends in Jamaican music). It was around that time, that Magnum et al seized the moment, becoming more prominent and naturally, started biting into Red Stripe’s market share. Red Stripe apparently realized the folly of this move, and started sponsoring live local music events again last year, but is it too little too late?

Add to that, the fact that recent market surveys reportedly show that young people (a core target market for alcoholic beverage companies) in Jamaica view beer as a drink for older adults (like their fathers and uncles). Apparently it’s not ‘cool’ to drink beer in Jamaica these days, so do you think that this BEAR will help to make it ‘cool’ to drink beer again?

Red Stripe Bear Campaign

46 Responses to “Red Stripe’s BEAR Campaign”

  1. Charmaine
    August 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Excellent assesment of the issue. Wish I had the balls to write this myself. The truth is you are right, Red Stripe (like LIME) is becoming adept at working with smoke and mirrors instead of doing what helps them to be most profitable and appealing to current and future consumers.

    I recently started drinking beer again because I am dating a man who drinks beer. Its as simple as that, put the beer in people hand. Look at white rum, it used to be an old man’s drink too and now its most chic to have white rum.

    And yes, I too was heartened to see the use of the internet but because the central premise was so contrived it falls flat on its face. Viral works best when its not trying!

    I saw your tweet about international marketers being brought in to strengthen the team. That’s all I will say about that.

  2. @therallaing
    August 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Wonderful perspective.. I must agree that the execution is good…but the concept fails on so many levels, and besides from catalysing the attention of a few internet savvy Jamaicans, we are yet to see how this campaign re-connects Red Stripe with the BUYING Market… which if they look at thier numbers took an instant nose dive WORLDWIDE, when they disassociated themselves with Reggae Music…

    Recently Coca Cola, who is also the first brand to use a Bear… has taken an initiative to become a “Music Brand”.. starting with a new label to showcase NEW artistes..

    With that in mind I think beer needs to take an example from the soda….


  3. SkinnyAsAStick
    August 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    I wonder whether their removal of the video from Youtube has anything to do with the very same feedback/commentary that you have shared with us.

    Whatever happened to piloting campaigns before ‘unleashing’ them? Brilliant idea within the meeting room, not so brilliant when it goes LIVE.

    Props to Red Stripe for trying something ‘cool’, but it could be cooler!

  4. Kyle
    August 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    As you rightly point out (and others agree), the campaign development and execution was good. Re the SWAT team, they could have used a Renato Adams or Bigga Ford style operation (a la Unstoppables) which would have helped with audience connection, but the bear does/will not resonate with Jamaicans.

    What might the objective of the campaign have been? Get people talking? Increased sales? Not sure what they will use to measure success of this. TIme will tell, but it appears to have fallen flat.

    Maybe there’s some further evolution planned for the campaign, if so, guess we just have to wait and see.

  5. Errice Andeson
    August 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    I for one thought it was a good promotional concept, creative and outside of the box simply put EPIC!!


  6. Romario Thomas
    August 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    I logged onto FAME live stream just in time to hear a discussion about this new add and bwoy I’m laughing no end. It’s fun.

    I thought it was cool and other thought so as well from the concept even though it was obvious that “beers” aren’t here in Jamaica it was a good strategy by Red Stripe and I’m looking to see whats next.

  7. Fierce_23
    August 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    After seeing the smash hit of a campaign that this has been, I went in search of other comments on the net. Thankfully i found someone who has done a quite wordy analysis of this. Your analysis though, my friend, falls quite short.

    This campaign is buzzing around all circles that i’m in (and i’ve been around ☺) as the best concept and execution EVER seen in Jamaica’s advertising history. a quick look on the facebook page of the campaign shows a growth of about 2,000 fans within 2 days of launch. i checked through the comments and the ones that I see seems to be positive :s; persons are refering to the concept and execution as “einsteinic”. I wonder id 2,000 persons in the digital space are stupid? :s

    Your figures are also off. The total YouTube video views of the channel since it went live are 1,177 views. As an internet marketer, you should know better (and i hope you learn) that you can never compare the viral effect of current affairs (CliffTwang) to a brand’s advertising campaign. If a fair analysis is done of any other recent (or otherwise) Jamaican campaigns (pleeeeeaaasssseeee let me not call any names), you will notice that no one has had this effect.
    The twitter mentions about the break in is also something that seems strange to come from a social marketer. Social media is not only about twitter and facebook mentions. Tech data lesson time: Jamaica has about 100,000 ACTIVE blackberry users, ie persons who use the BlackBerry Internet service on a regular basis (source, Digicel and extrapolation based on market share). On the day of the “break in”, my wife and child were very worried about my safety because of me having to pass Spanish Town road to go home. I wish i still had the windows up of broadcast messages i received on the day! It was ridiculous. That combined with a little thing called WORD OF MOUTH is what needs to be combined with internet buzz to measure what the effect was, and in my humble opinion (although i dont have an “internet marketing blog”) the buzz was pretty OK.
    *whew* i think i’m writing a lot, but let’s continue….

    I agree with some of your points though. The thing in Mandeville baffles me :s

    Advertising in Jamaica, for too long (like forever) has been too mundane and BORING. I salute Red Stripe for this breakthrough concept. It was not perfect, but what are we comparing this to? Surely nothing that has ever been done here before with the Jingles and dance routines and all-around non-creative ads. I think as a people, we have become too used to mediocrity; it permeates our society. But that’s for another blog. When we see a campaign of a Bear in Jamaica, we immediately respond with ridiculing it, asking if any Bear is in Jamaica. Seriously!? When Geico (USA) was establishing their campaign of a lizard found in Australia being their spokesperson (let me repeat, it’s a lizard from down-under that STANDS and SPEAK in a british accent!), what were they thinking?! Come on guys, lighten up! Of course there is no bear in Jamaica! But the thing is still fun. Others are finding it funny and joining the conversation, laughing along, maybe you all need to as well…
    All that said, I hope the persons who are involved in this campaign sees this post on your blog. Kudos to your efforts. I think you have raised the bar in creative conceptualization and especially social marketing.
    A true measure of a campaign is how the CONSUMERS react to it, in general. And we love it! So please don’t let the comments of a few unimaginative archaic marketers stop you.

    Writer of the blog: next time dude, wait a little bit more before you do an analysis of a brand campaign…$0.02

    • Stacee Neil
      August 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

      Doesn’t mean that when you jump from boring to imaginative it shouldn’t be SMART….this article has probably created more buzz about the campaign than the creators’ efforts.
      If the rule of “any publicity, even bad publicity, is good publicity” then, yes, this campaign is a success…cause right now there are many people thinking that this campaign is inherently dumb…and I’m glad that the writer said as much…don’t know bout you, but I’m not holding a bottle branded “dumb”.

    • jehmar alex rose
      September 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

      That comment/whatever is so so long that my mother-in-law could bathe in it.

  8. Tuff Blood
    August 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    My view of the red stripe bear campaign is WOW… the quality, wow… the execution wow… world class commercial, looks international, I was swept me off my feet. Guys, when was the last time that a campaign in Jamaica has been so exciting and different. Personally I can’t wait to see what’s next. I love it 🙂

  9. Alice Clare
    August 17, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    Great analysis. I’ll only add 2 points. First, is it really prudent to stage a robbery in Jamaica? Strikes me as a bit odd considering our crime rate. Second — a point that I’ve seen made on on Twitter — thank God that it’s not another jingle. I live overseas but whenever I tune into local TV via a live stream, I’m annoyed and dismayed by all the jingles. I can only imagine that radio is worse. It strikes me as Sambo-like. So kudos to Red Stripe for developing and executing a different (in Jamaica anyway) kind of concept. Good luck to them bringing drinkers back into the Red Stripe fold…

    August 17, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    I thought it was the biggest waste of money ive seen in recent times …..all those full page ads taken out with the bear paws could have helped jojo`s with their light bill………..BORING!

  11. Swazale
    August 17, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    I immediately remembered that ‘Peter Red, Peter Blue’ cigarette campaign from the 80’s that had the public going by garnering attention and water cooler conversations but my oh my the campaign fell flat…in fact failed. It’s surprising Red Stripe would roll out a campaign without background work. ‘Bears in Jamaica?’ There’s a wealth of quality content at their disposable without having to blatantly ‘lie’ to sell a bottle of beer. The RS brand SCREAMS DESPERATE. Faking a robbery esp. on the heals of the Jamaican Police force issuing a statement re: pranks calls is just a bad decision for corporate social responsibility. While I will admit it has gotten us to take notice (given these 10 comments & BB broadcast) I cant see how am closer to taking a sip of beer or my peers. The campaign has simply weakened the RS brand. Sandor, your suggestion about RS leveraging music is spot on. Red Stripe/Diageo should have hired an internet marketing expert like yourself to do the job. Frankly, they should have spent more time doing research and analysis (inclusive of a focused group). After all these years of operating in Jamaica, are you telling me RS still does not know the Jamaican market? Or is it a case where their international parent company don’t give a crap? As a play on Learning for Life may I suggest that RS go back to the drawing board w/ ‘LearningaboutJ’can’psyche. Re: Fierce_23 obviously u have an issue with Sandor. It’s called constructive criticism. You seem to be way too close to this RS campaign (armed w/ blinders). Get over yourself!

  12. Ingrid Riley
    August 17, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    The Red Strip BEAR campaign tried too hard.

    As a Digital Marketing Strategist myself, I’ve been in meetings with company executives who still believe you can force something to go viral by throwing enough money at it. And by going viral what we mean is that a brand has created something so remarkable…worth talking about, that we are compelled to share it with friends and strangers.

    This campaign again showed itself to be another exercise in flawed top down thinking….where a traditional marketing mindset had the internet playing the role as handmaiden rather than it being the integral platform for connection and two way communication.

    This campaign talked AT its intended audience. It put on a show for them.

    Did they ask themselves the right questions before this concept was developed? What were they working to achieve? Who is the target audience? What can we do to connect most with them? How can we become more relevant to the and in fact inspire them to share the brand experience we create for them happily? Do we enlist their help in defining this campaign?

    I want to know what factors they will use to declare it a success or failure. And if this flops based on the objectives they’d set for themselves….will they become cynical about social media ? I hope not.

    Because it shows Red Stripe as a risk taker, willing to as we say, go hard whether it flops or fly. Frankly we need more Jamaican brands showing more balls the size of bears….brands who are willing to risk,experiment, fail, learn, go at it again and again until they win…with their customers…the ultimate success.

  13. Pgonz
    August 18, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    I think its a pretty good start to what looks to be a fresh and interesting new campaign! After all, it has managed to stir both good & bad conversations! That has to count for something… and personally I’ve seen more good comments than bad over the past couple days.

    I get that these are all opinions here… but c’mon guys, do you think RS really doesn’t know there aren’t bears in Jamaica. Have a sense of humor and lighten up! Really… a BEAR stealing BEER dwl. I see it as obvious humor! I can’t wait to see where RS takes this campaign! It sell off!

  14. Marc M
    August 18, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    I am happy that this campaign demonstrates an increasing recognition of the power of social media campaigning. Now as you said, does the execution of the campaign connect with its intended market? My verdict is still out.

  15. Jones
    August 18, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Red Stripe Won the battle!!

    I must say this campaign has proven to be a great success. Never in history have you really had a campaign being talked about this much –whether Bad or Good. I must commend Red Stripe for something that shows creativity, quality and out of the box thinking. Im really eager to see what will happen next.. and how this campaign will move forward in the future. At the end of the day people are going to say Good and people are going to say BAD, the trick is getting people to talk about it!

    Good job Red Stripe!!!

    • Monique P.
      August 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

      “Never in history” is kind of pushing it…we may not remember now but there was quite a bit of buzz surrounding the then bMobile GSM launch (oversized orange power-button stickers everywhere etc).

  16. Nikki
    August 18, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    As a long time Red Stripe drinker, I don’t need an ad campaign to encourage me to drink Red Stripe, but let me share how Red Stripe came to be a favourite of mine. Despite the foreign ownership ( may I add by a spirits company that doesn’t understand beer), Red Stripe for me is the “Great Jamaican Beer’. My emotional associations with Red Stripe are with the Red Stripe Mound, with Red Stripe in the dancehall space; in other words in association with fundamentally Jamaican experiences. This was the power of the former Red Stripe, it was an integral part of the “feel good” irie experience of being Jamaican and being in Jamaica.

    In recent years, this has been completely lost by Red Stripe. Remember the “Ambassador” campaign? The Bear campaign may be something new, but I just don’t know how it puts a Red Stripe in the hand of the consumer. What’s the message that Red Stripe is trying to convey? That bears like it so it must be good? That bears are cool so it would be cool to drink what they drink? Just don’t get it.

  17. TheBear
    August 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Grrrr Grrrr Grrrr Grrrrrr Grrrrrrrrr!!!
    Grrrr Grr!!

    Yours Truly,
    The Bear.

  18. Gayletrini
    August 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    I do like the tagline ‘The Bear/Beer ? was here!’
    I so want to be positive about those ads but I can’t. I agree with you on the concepts being non Jamaican. The play on beer is cute but do we really want to see beer as cute? i honestly don’t see that they are thinking out of the box at all either. I feel as if I have seen it before maybe not on Jamaica’s tv but seen it.
    Do like that they tied in an online campaign.

    • Nikki
      August 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      i think it was Coors.

  19. SCSquared
    August 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Red Stripe has had a local image dilemma at best since the “Hooray Beer!” campaign, this latest installment has only served to further solidify their disconnect from the Jamaican market.

    I first tasted Red Stripe as a 4 year old, standing beside my mother playing dominoes. I recall enjoying it’s taste at even that young age (let the age go). Now, in my adulthood, I’m not a beer drinker – I prefer aged alcohols aka wine, rum and scotch. I however still enjoy seeing that round brown bottle in bars, videos and movies.

    The pride of knowing my true Jamaican beer is noteable is irreplaceable. It however does not make me unaware of Diageo’s attempt to grow the brand through marketing and their inability to grow their share of the local market. This is what disappoints. If they are to regain the market share they once had, they must once again become “The Great Jamaican Beer” not the “oh yeah, it is local” beer. Americanised campaigns do not ring true to us or to anyone else and will not help to compete with Budweiser or Heineken.

    Speaking of Heineken, how did Red Stripe let them have better Jamaican ads than them in the first place?

  20. Geezam
    August 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    I agree with you Sandor, I applaud the effort and social media integration but could have been much better.

  21. Monique P.
    August 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    I’ll go against the grain here and say that I actually like what Red Stripe is trying to do. Has the campaign wowed me? No. Do I like the ads? Maybe if I could look past the cheesy acting I would.

    What I do want to commend them for though is having the balls to go out on a limb and do something (very expensively) for which there is no local precedent. It’s a very risky move. Clearly, very few Jamaican companies are willing to step away from the typical song-and-dance-jingle-type-ads. Jingles work in Jamaica and Red Stripe could have gone that route. The safe route. Instead they’ve tried their hand at a campaign built around a playful, outside-the-box concept, that incorporates not just one but several digital elements.

    Kudos to them for that.

    (…and to the people going on about the “there are no bears in Jamaica” bit…come on….I’m sure that wasn’t an oversight on their part…we’re all talking about this bear now aren’t we?)

  22. Paul Thompson
    August 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Sandor, I think you make a fair assessment, although it might be a bit premature to do an audit of the campaign. Also, as a DM, there are things you are able to see that the average consumer won’t be able to see with the naked eye.

    A brand like Old Spice for example, had no way of predicting its success online. It was a gamble. Thing is, when the opportunities came up, they executed well. For a brand like Red Stripe, budgets for untested waters like Digital, are often limited. So like you say Ingrid, they have to test cheaply, fail fast, and try again. I applaud the effort. I wish them well.

  23. Althea Moore
    August 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    The Redstripe ‘bear’ campaign is an amazing concept. We as a people need to stop getting so rattled when we are taken out of our comfort zones. It is interesting, new, different and a fantastic showcase. I just started seeing stuff last week, ummm I cannot make a judgement on a campaign when I have not seen it in its entirety…as they do say…see what happens next…and I do want to see what happens next. I think this blog is premature and suspiciously hasty.

    The teasers on shows like Smile Jamaica, Onstage and Intense peaked my interest and it was very easy to link the bear paw scratches teasers ads to those shows. However, I do understand that as a public maybe simplicity, familiarity and being mundane translates to better marketing for us.

    What I would like to address Sandor is this paragraph of your blog…”Yes, they’re doing a play on words, but there are no ‘bears’ in Jamaica, so that makes it seem a bit ridiculous [it’s possible though, that this was in fact their intention], and they also incorporate other non-Jamaican elements (such as the S.W.A.T. team)”

    Are you suggesting that in order to market to us as a people, companies should only use animals that are indigenous to Jamaica? Now that is ridiculous! That is a weak point at best and does not say much for your creative eye, thus lending me to believe that you have some hidden agenda in writing this blog.

    The SWAT team: can I ask you if you were around for the dudus extradition? I unfortunately was in close proximity to a black armoured vehicle and the men that jumped out wore very similar attire to those on the Redstripe Ad sir. Guns blazing, stealthy movement, crawling…the works!!! So again, another weak point against the campaign.

    Your blog is your opinion, but I have my suspicions about your agenda. Why was this such a hot topic for you? There are hundreds of Ad campaigns everyday in Jamaica, I really do not understand why this was so special to for you to spew your venomous opinion. If you really want to start a blog about ineffective Ad campaigns, then I find it very strange that there was no blog around last year June…

    • Monique P.
      August 19, 2011 at 9:41 am #

      “Your blog is your opinion, but I have my suspicions about your agenda….There are hundreds of Ad campaigns everyday in Jamaica, I really do not understand why this was so special to for you to spew your venomous opinion. ”

      I’m picking up more venom in your comment than in his entire blog post. That is what is suspicious.

      Its not had to see why he singled this one out. He’s an Internet Marketer and this is one of the few campaigns that incorporate digital/social media the way this one has. Its also much different from what is normally done and that would pique anybody’s interest.

    • aiesha
      August 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

      “Are you suggesting that in order to market to us as a people, companies should only use animals that are indigenous to Jamaica? Now that is ridiculous! That is a weak point at best and does not say much for your creative eye, thus lending me to believe that you have some hidden agenda in writing this blog.”

      I think you and most people that are so ruffled by the article miss the basic premise of the article, and so would like to turn this into a personal attack against the writer, which ultimately won’t change the assessment.

      the premise of the article is that red stripe is disconnected from the actual positioning of its product, which is that its jamaican, it is ours and we love it because we are proud jamaicans. as others have pointed out there is a pride and a sentimentality about the brand, and it is on this premise that his assessment that that use of a bear which most jamaicans have only seen in story books does not connect with us. and by connect, meaning it doesn’t stir us into motion to actually buy the product…when a large number of people’s first impression is “what is this rubbish”, that is not a connect, that is not a hit, and that doesn’t go viral.

      we are talking so much about it now because one person decided to blog to say it has fallen flat, and plenty more have come out in agreement. it would have most likely gone the way of the jingles we abhor, and be filed away as another annoying ad, which doesn’t garner brand loyalty in the end.

      i’d bet red stripe didn’t plan on the flack as the way in which people would be talking about their campaign… but, they have demonstrated that they are a brand that isn’t sleeping, while so many other brands continue to undermine the power of the tools of the Internet in influencing buyers…so i wouldn’t be surprised if they are taking serious notes back to the drawing room…

      its full time we have more forums to discuss and critique work being put out in ALL industries, and have healthy conversations with a focus on learning and strategizing about what can be done to achieve higher standards of excellence…that will lift the standards in the industry, and by ripple effect, lift the nation…
      i’ll be brazen and say we all want that.

    • Alice Clare
      August 20, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

      I don’t think that you have a basis upon which to base accusations about any ulterior motives of the blog post’s author. His assessment is fair, and, based upon what I’ve seen floating around the Twitterverse he’s spot on. People are not impressed with this campaign because it misses its audience. The new campaign however out of the box or innovative isn’t reaching the market that it lost and obviously is desperate to regain.

      Sorry but I had to respond to this comment…it just seems a bit much.

  24. T.Lindo
    August 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    Good writing…
    Two main points…
    1. The campaign has NOT ended, this is the 1st stage we really don’t know where its going and the suspense is great, so at best we should refrain from drawing conclusions.Let’s just see where it’s going.
    2. It got all of our attention since we are all commenting about it. I conclude Red Stripe has our attention and that’s the 1st step and main aim in starting the trail.
    P.S. complaining about a Bear/Beer OBVIOUS play on words like really? Who cares if we don’t have bears here not even in the zoo, so what?
    Get out of that box.
    I’ve actually seen more positive comments than negatives.
    Kudos to Prism Communications and the Red Stripe marketing team for this one. I bet some of the same marketers biting are already trying to come up with something similar of course with better execution for their next campaign…haha.

    No, I don’t work, neither am I associated with Diageo or Prism. Just a young one sharing an opinion like all others.

  25. Ekks
    August 19, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Calling a spade a spade! The concept of the advt is poor. Execution – by world standards… not quite there!!!

    What’s more is the negative subliminal msgs in the advt:
    1. The current state of the world economy & stock markets is such that no reference/parallel should be made/drawn to ANY service or product with the image of the “BEAR” – especially w/Red Stripe’s revenue slump since 2008. The imaging of Red Stripe’s bear is somewhat reminiscent of Cramer’s “Mad Money” bear, actually [not good!]. [For those who came in late – the bear is the poster boy for a downward turn in the stock market].

    2. If you’re so bent on using the bear – a few points to ponder. The imaging/rendering of the bear is crude & menacing, almost repulsive – mos def not friendly. Whatever the msg – remember you’re SELLING a PRODUCT! Yogi Bear steals picnic baskets – but he looks cool doing so…AND he’s hilarious! Have a gander at products which have used the bear in tele commercials before – a) Coca Cola’s Xmas advt: the bear is smooth, calm, family-oriented & friendly. b) Charmin Tissue: same esteem. The animation is rough around the edges, to say the least. Red Stripe actually missed the opportunity to truly, wittingly exploit the beer/bear pun! And NO!…the rather dry “The bear was here!”… doesn’t quite cut it!!! :/

    3. The depiction of violence & destruction of property is MOS DEF NOT COOL – especially in today’s Jamaica. This is actually worse than “Live Red!” :/

    4. An effective msg will trigger thought and/or laughter. The advt solicits neither.

    A major misconception is in Jamaica is that simply getting ppl to talk about your product is good enough. Unless you are able to DIRECTLY translate that chatter into actual sales – it’s pointless. Chatter doesn’t resound – CHA-HCING!

    Truth is, Red Stripe has lost the connect with its core market. Each [clutch straw] campaign they’ve released in the past ten years reflects this. The last really good Red Stripe effort was “He’s got to be Jamaican!”. That was insightful & intuitive on the company’s part and also inspiring to Jamaicans on a whole – not just beer drinkers or sports fans.

    They need to realize what it is that ppl love/loved about the brand & its product & “re-bring” that in a fresh way that re-connects w/former Red Stripe drinkers as well as connect with potential customers.

    PS: The beaten track, cliche quote “thinking outside the box” does not necessarily mean that any idea “outside the box” is a good one. And for those who came in late – the bear/beer concept is not new – it’s already been done – only cooler!


  26. Cleveland
    August 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    I like the new campaign its different and its clearly doing the job because everybody is talking about the redstripe bear

  27. Sarah
    August 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    Phone card phone card phone card!
    Banana banana banana chips…
    Cash fi gold cash fi gold cash fi gold!!

    Apropos of nothing, but I can’t stop singing it. Neither can our helper. Simple, catchy, weird, funny, broad appeal, across demographics…that is the definition of viral.

    The whole red stripe campaign reminds me of the JTB “flash mob” in NYC – trying too hard with a concept that has jumped the shark. Kudos for good production quality, but back to the drawing board, Red Stripe. Try find something fi mek wi laugh (with you, not at you).

  28. jamie james
    August 19, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    wow, this is all, hmmmmm.. but I’m a member of the Jamainca Beer fan page and I kinda like it still.. especially after getting the sneak peak of the new ad name evadence.. they tell us not to share the link, butttttt….. take a look guys:

  29. businessuite
    August 20, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    Burger King’s first TV spot from its new agency McGarryBowen will begin airing Saturday, and the fast-feeder is hailing the ad as the start of a “refreshed marketing image, created to appeal to a broader audience.”

    Translation? After seven years of polarizing campaigns from Boulder, Colo.-based CP&B that included “Whopper Freakout,” “Whopper Sacrifice,” products such as Chicken Fries and Flame cologne, and the creepy King mascot (whose demise few are mourning), Burger King thinks it’s time to get back to the food.

  30. Julian
    August 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    The campaign is stupid ..the execution brilliant . One must now ask what were the stated objectives of the campaign ..must be SMART ..specific, measurable, achievable,realistic and time was the objective to create a contemporary glitzy campaign? if so they achieved it.
    was the objective to get more persons to buy redstripe..then they will fail miserably.
    was the objective to spend loads of money? they have succeeded.
    was the campaign designed to be quirkish and culturally detached from the jamaican experience they have succeeded.
    was the objective to target 4 year olds?.
    it all ties back to the objectives which i believe the people at redstripe might not know themselves….red stripe is Iconic in Jamaica considering the coming 5oth anniversary of independence i believe they should do something nostalgic to remind persons of teh heritage of the roun brown bottle…..personally i find the campaign repugnant as a marketer and a jamaican….was the objective to turn people like me away from the brand..then they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams

  31. Quizz
    August 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    I couldn’t have said it better myself, Sandor. Excellent article.

  32. Aloun Ndombet-Assamba
    August 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    i must say I am very disappointed that Red Stripe is putting forward such a campaign. It seems to be glamorizing breaking the law. This would certainly not cause me to buy or drink the beer. Certainly linking breaking the law with the beer cannot be good for our country at this time. I am greatly troubled by this.

  33. michael whittingham
    August 25, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    This is a Bearing commercial,which i think will have other companies /producers see themselves as having old ads that people no longer want to see, and that puts their merchandise sales at the risk of not getting to the sales quota that they had probably set.Thanks to RED STRIPE they have opened the eyes of those merchandisers and at the same time done themselves a tremendously good deed.Brilliant IDEA !!!!

  34. TPS
    August 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    I have on question to all the people that have said this was a brilliant campaign and “out of the box” ….. How many of you, your friends or family after seeing/hearing any aspect has gone into the liquor store, supermarket, gas station or bar & ordered a red stripe? That is what gauges the success of the millions spent by Diageo. Red Stripe is not Kim Kardashian, Charlie Sheen or Lindsey Lohan, so the “any publicity is good publicity” can’t fly here…. The bear or beer isn’t going to get an endorsement deal or a role in a sitcom… They NEED to sell more beer here in Jamaica. FULL STOP! I am unsure how a grizzly accomplishes that more than going directly to your target market. Red Stripe defined cool long ago, now they need to define their value vs a tonic wine & why the average man should order it vs a magnum. In the end the bottom line is what speaks loudest. Let’s see if their spend equates to sales. As that is all that matters.

  35. Precious
    September 3, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    It is missing a lot of thought process and what it really aims to achieve.

    While some company strive off creating a buzz around a specific product a company such as Diageo realistically should not be looking to just create a buzz. The whole point is to get persons to buy the beer and to recapture the appreciation that persons once had for the redstripe beer. Y is it that they are trying to turn off pple buying putting too much unrealistic gimmicks in one ad.

    They should have helped to fix the issue in the dancehall industry instead of ditching it….yea they will pay for this n hence the attempt to create this buzz now is seemingly a bit desperate n makes them look cheap despite how much money them spend to execute it

  36. lee lang
    September 5, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    I have memories of Ernie Smith to sing about life is just for living and of the ad of nothing beats the taste of a real beer. That was when I was young girl to visit Jamaica from Poland a long time ago. This ad I don’t much like. It not make you need of drinking a red stripe beer. Sorry for bad english. Red stripe still good beer. It is about the party concept of a good drink. Thank you.

  37. karismatikkween
    September 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    @FIERCE_23, just from reading the first 2 paragraphs it becomes painfully clear that this topic is just too sensitive to you. are u affiliated with the brand? i suggest u try not to make somethings too obvious and while i’m not saying don’t be passionate, just bear in mind that you sabotage ur credibility and debunk ur own “logical” arguments by being so defensive. you wouldn’t go through such pains to disprove sandor’s brilliant and helpful analysis without some kind of attachment to the brand..

  38. Nostradamus
    February 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Personally, I thought the fake robbery newsfeed was a waste of time. If it had incorporated the “no body can cross it” or “Deading” style of news parody it would have had more of an impact.

    As for the bear theme, I liked it and agree with an earlier comment in that it was better than yet another jingle.

    I realise that I am late to jump on this however my advice would be to add a QR link (to the complete advert on you tube) to all international adverts. Red Stripe is still considered “the” Jamaican beer and while those in yard might turn their noses up, those who are overseas will love the bear.


  1. Red Stripe – Our Beer « bigblackbarry - July 12, 2012

    […] My bredren Sandor spoke about it pretty much in detail in fairly polite terms in his blog. […]

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