Exploring Lindemans’ Innovative Media Strategy for Launching New Beers in a Competitive Market | Presentations and Cases


The Uphill Battle of Lindemans: Navigating a Declining Market Dominated by Giants


In the world of beer, Lindemans, a family-owned brewery from Vlezenbeek, Belgium, deeply rooted in the tradition of making lambic and fruity beers since the 1800s, faces a not-so-hoppy situation. Being a challenger in a market dominated by the presence of the Big Five – AB InBev, Alken-Maes, Haacht, Duvel Moortgat, and Palm, who collectively control about 85% of the market – is far from enviable. Adding to this oligopoly-situation a persistent market decline paints a less fruity scenario. In such a competitive environment, where the giants have big budgets to spend, how can a smaller player like Lindemans find a way to grow?

Well, among these challenging conditions, something interesting is happening. While the brewery has historically focused on certain beer segments now experiencing a downturn (8% drop of lambics in the past two years), there exists a segment that defies this trend – the strong fruit beer segment, which is witnessing growth (40% increase in sales over two years). This segment represents a golden opportunity for Lindemans to diversify and tap into emerging consumer preferences. Diversifying means introducing new flavors by Lindemans: launching Tarot D’Or and Tarot Noir, stepping boldly into the arena of high-alcohol fruit beers. The space is crowded. Kasteel Rouge is leading, with significant sales growth (+31%, Nielsen). OK so, Lindemans being the new kid on the block, up against well-established names with bigger budgets and more spots in bars and restaurants? That means not just introducing new beers; it means making Lindemans stand out in a sea of choices. Clearly, Lindemans couldn't just do what everyone else was doing. They needed a unique twist, something to catch people's eyes and make them remember Lindemans. With less deep pockets. Lindemans teamed up with Semetis and TBWA to create an unrivaled experience, strengthening brand engagement and relevance.


Capturing the Pre-Party Buzz: Understanding Our Young Drinkers


Research indicated that high-alcohol fruit beers are popular among students and young adults. A group that's always on the lookout for something fresh and thrilling. They're not settling for just any beer. They want flavors that kick-start an ordinary evening into something memorable.

Our deep dive into their habits showed us something crucial: our young drinkers often enjoy high-alcohol fruit beers during their "pre-drinking" sessions, setting the tone for their upcoming night out. While many brands focus on the drinking moments at parties or bars, we spotted our chance to connect earlier in the celebration cycle. It's in the buzz of planning the evening, in the lively chats on their WhatsApp groups, and in the fun games they play as they warm up for the night.

That's why we decided to pivot our approach, focusing on capturing the excitement and anticipation of their night out, rather than just the party itself.


Immersive Predictions: Engaging Through Personalized Experiences


For the Tarot launch, we grabbed the opportunity to influence our target audience at off-trade locations, getting them to pick our beers before our competitors even had a chance. We tapped into our audience's pre-party excitement, mirroring their habit of making playful predictions about the night ahead. This emphasis on anticipation opened creative routes for our media strategy, allowing us to engage with them in a fun and meaningful way.

Our campaign, "We predict that...," was all about guessing the fun times our audience was heading into. We crafted ads that were not just cool to look at but were also interactive, popping up in places where our young audience loves to hang out. We had to be smart with our budget to make a real splash with Tarot in Belgium's busy beer scene. We had to be clever with how and where we showed off our beers. Here's how we did it:

  • Right Place, Right Time: We zoomed in on students and young adults, making sure our video ads showed up on the online platforms they love, like VTM Go, Auvio, and RTL Play. Since a big portion of Gen Z hangs out on YouTube and Meta, we were there too. Our ads weren't just digital; we also embraced out-of-home (OOH) advertising, strategically placing ads where our audience studies, socializes, and unwinds.
  • Making it Personal and Fun: We wanted everyone to dive into the magical world of Tarot and its predictions. We got creative and used data like where they were, what time it was, which device they were using, and even the weather to bring our predictions to life and to make our ads feel like they were just for them. Plus, we turned ordinary web browsing into a little game where the way you moved your mouse could suggest if you'd like Tarot Noir or Tarot d’Or more. And on Instagram, our poll ads weren't just ads; they were a way for us to chat directly with our audience and understand their preferences.

On social media, we cleverly used the platform's targeting solutions, such as device targeting and ad scheduling, to ensure that we delivered advertising that predicted with great accuracy what users were doing. In the morning, and only on mobile devices, users were expected to stay on their phones a little longer before getting out of bed. In the afternoon, users were expected to go to a bar in less than two hours, and in the evening, they were expected to crave Pita/durum. All copy was adapted, mentioning how Tarot would best suit all use cases. 




To make sure our media execution resonated even more with our young target audience, we used OOH as a key medium. With programmatic DOOH and using the self-service buying platform OutMoove, we were able to plan exactly where, when, and how our predictions would come to life. We even added dynamic data points such as weather and time to automatically modify our visuals accordingly and suggest the perfect Tarot beer moment. In student cities like Ghent, Antwerp, and Leuven, we adapted the ads to guess where people were going. We predicted that someone in Leuven would head for the Oude Markt, while someone in Ghent might head for the Overpoort, and in Antwerp, perhaps for the Ossenmarkt. In the evenings, when it's cold, we encourage people to take a Tarot beer and a cozy sweater. When it comes to late-night outings, we've combined Tarot beer with the adventures of late-night snacks. Wherever you are, whether you're at the bus station or strolling the streets, we had a fun Tarot prediction for you.




Campaign Impact: Measurable Success and Audience Connection


Our strategy was built on data and aimed at achieving clear outcomes. We didn't just chase visibility; we aimed for deep engagement, and the results speak to this focus.

  • Engagement That Resonates: Whether with videos or images, we managed to increase engagement while optimizing for reach/views. On YouTube, we hit a 40% view rate, outdoing the industry average by 25%. On Facebook, our 57% view rate was 15% higher than typical results. Instagram was a goldmine for us, with poll ads tripling the engagement rate benchmark at 3.65%.
  • Significant Sales Growth: The campaign period saw a 40% spike in sales, highlighting the campaign's significant influence on consumer behavior.

On top of this, an attention study by Lumen enabled us to gather additional insights about our campaign. Our ads kept 85% of viewers engaged for over two seconds, far exceeding the usual 60%. The survey also revealed a notable preference for Tarot, with users stating that they would be more likely to try Tarot (12% and 40% more than Kasteel Rouge and Cherry Chouffe, respectively).


publication auteur Eliott Pousset
Eliott Pousset

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