Amstel Amps Up Its ‘Dam’ Ads

Amstel Light thinks it’s got a dam good campaign going.

As a result, the imported beer brand is initiating phase two of its “One dam good bier” campaign. The Dutch beverage will work to fully drive home its Amsterdam origin through new packaging, ads and an “Amsterdam Live!” tour.

“Through the lens of Amstel we want to bring Amsterdam to life for consumers,” said Kheri Holland Tillman, vice president of marketing for Amstel Light at Heinken, USA.

Like many imports, the brand is struggling. Its sales were down 15 percent for the 52 weeks ended March 22, per IRI. Overall, imports were off 2.2 percent in supermarkets.

“The brand continues to have its challenges,” said Benj Steinman, editor, Beer Marketer’s Insights. “[Still], the campaign has been well received by the wholesalers. Heineken says where they’ve spent against it, they’ve seen results.”

According to internal metrics, brand awareness rose 36 percent and trial was up 17 percent because of the effort.

To keep up the momentum, this summer it will be repackaged with images of the Amstel River and canals as well as a description of the brand’s connection with the European city. Ceradini Brand Graphics, New York, handled.

New print and outdoor ads, debuting in June, will follow suit. They will show revelers enjoying the Amsterdam nightlife. The brand will re-air last year’s TV spot; however, it will increase its TV spend by 20 percent. Overall, it doled out $8 million on media last year, per Nielsen. The Richards Group is its agency.

A national tour will hit six cities. Inspired by Amsterdam’s Melkweg nightclub, it will bring together music, art and film under one roof. It will also offer rides on its 10-person “Beer bike” in select cities.

Amstel has already relaunched Amstellight.com. Visitors to the site can experience a tour of Amsterdam via a virtual bicycle. They can also download art and learn the authentic “Dutch roar.”

Much like Corona is tied to the beach, Amstel hopes to be inextricably linked to its city of origin, said Tillman.  “It’s a point of difference that is ownable and we had it all along,” he said. “We need to continue to bring its heritage to life.”