Pilsner Urquell in line for an overhaul

Brewing giant SABMiller is undertaking a strategic rebrand of its Pilsner Urquell lager and is working with Enterprise IG on an international packaging and strategy project for the brand.

Brewing giant SABMiller is undertaking a strategic rebrand of its Pilsner Urquell lager and is working with Enterprise IG on an international packaging and strategy project for the brand.

A spokesman for the brewer confirms that an assessment of the entire brand of the bottled Czech lager is underway at SABMiller’s brand team in the UK, which is working with Enterprise IG and other agencies involved in the marketing of the product.

‘We will look at the whole nature of the brand, from packaging to marketing and advertising – every aspect of the on and off trade, and all promotional collateral,’ says the spokesman.

The current packaging features an Art Nouveau typeface, a red seal and Czech iconography, and the brand claims to be the originator of the pilsner name.

SABMiller made the decision to reassess the Pilsner Urquell brand late last year, five years after it was previously redesigned by Enterprise IG. Although it is retained as SABMiller’s international branding consultancy, Enterprise IG declined to comment on the Pilsner Urquell project.

According to SABMiller’s annual report last year, sales of Pilsner Urquell rose ‘slightly’, both globally and in the Czech Republic, during 2005. The results of the branding project are expected to be launched in the early autumn, according to the spokesman.

SABMiller undertook a similar rebranding process for its Italian bottled beer brand Peroni Nastro Azzuro in 2003. The product relaunched in January 2005 with a reworked visual identity, graphics, bottle shape and packaging, also created by Enterprise IG (DW 27 January 2005).

In October last year, the company formed Miller Brands UK, a division set up to bring a ‘fresh approach’ to marketing and selling its portfolio of premium brands – Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell, Castle and Miller Genuine Draft.

At the time, it dedicated a £30m investment for the following two years to help grow its share of the market for these brands.

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