Boomtown Strategic Brand Agency literally took to the skies to elevate the Castle Milk Stout (CMS) brand to reflect its premium status and bring the new positioning to life in an exciting and non-traditional way. Boomtown allowed the CMS target audience to experience the brand and the drinking ritual first hand.
Castle Milk Stout is the only Stout within the SAB stable of beer products, and is part of Castle Equities. Castle Milk Stout is a rich, dark, satisfying beer that has been associated with traditional African values which appealed to the older consumers. Castle equities brands are some of the best performing brands within the SAB stable, with most South Africans having a sense of entitlement to the brands because of their South African Heritage. Due to the association with African traditional values, the brand was able to sustain itself and entrench itself as a South African beer brand.
Having defined an occasion for drinking Castle Milk Stout with a new positioning and a new ritual, Boomtown wanted to make Castle Milk Stout more enticing to a younger aspirant target market without alienating the current consumer. The biggest obstacle was the perception that the brand had amongst younger consumers and the lack of knowledge about this category. The new ritual of “Pour Pause Sip Enjoy”, based on the notion that one was required to take time to enjoy the quality of the beer, was developed. Boomtown then needed to immerse the target audience into this new world, where people take time to connect with friends and have meaningful conversations away from their fast paced life.
Using the ritual of “Pour Pause Sip Enjoy” as the basis, an experiential activation called “Pause in the Sky” was conceptualized, which would see the audiences immersed in a Castle Milk Stout world. Experiential events were hosted in three of the major cities starting in Johannesburg then Durban followed by Pretoria. The experience had a Pause, Pour, Sip, Enjoy journey starting at a rotating bar where guests experienced the first three steps of the ritual. The fourth and final step of the ritual saw guests hoisted 60 metres in the air on a Sky Table literally taking them out of the busy city and leaving the hustle and bustle behind to enjoy food parings with Castle Milk Stout while enjoying the spectacular 360 degree views away from their fast paced life.
The activations were a resounding success as it afforded consumers the opportunity to interact with the brand. They were able to understand the rationale behind the new positioning and the occasion for drinking Castle Milk Stout. Most of the attendees were able to taste Castle Milk Stout for the first time and also understand what differentiates it from lagers and other alcohol categories. The level of interest generated by the activations was evident in the media, but most importantly the experience altered the perceptions of the brand that existed in the minds of consumers. The event has now given Castle Milk Stout a sound base on which to sell its new positioning.