Category G04. Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Media Placement CARAT Hamburg, GERMANY
Production 3 EXTREME MUSIK Berlin, GERMANY
Additional Company PLAN.NET Munich, GERMANY
Name Company Position
Alexander Schill SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Global Chief Creative Officer
Thomas Heyen SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Managing Partner
Markus Kremer SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Managing Partner
Florian Klietz SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Managing Partner
Kristian von Elm SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Management Supervisor
Lars Holling SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Management Supervisor
Sabrina Schwartz SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Senior Account Manager
Mariah Kattmann SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Junior Account Manager
Sebastien Stabenau SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Design Director
Jan-Erik Scheibner SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Senior Copywriter
Melis Adiguezel SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Copywriter
Sine Hansen SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Art Director
Joy Chakravorty SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Copywriter
Sudarshan Waghmare SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Art Director
Philipp Truebiger SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Junior Art Director
Ronnie Patt SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Creative Director Art
Nils-Christian Sperling SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Final Art Specialist
Dennis Fritz SERVICEPLAN GERMANY Senior Motion Designer
Jeffrey Lisk Element E Filmproduktion Director
Bernd Possardt Element E Filmproduktion Director
Chris McKissick Element E Filmproduktion Director Of Photography
Patrick Volm-Dettenbach Element E Filmproduktion Head of Production
Sebastian Schroeer Element E Filmproduktion Producer
Bernd T. Hoefflin Element E Filmproduktion Producer
Christoph Koehler Neverest Managing Director
Madeliene Pfisterer Neverest Production Assistant

Why is this work relevant for Direct?

With the “No brown bottles” design label pre-release, social media was used to full effect – as a direct real-time response to an event all of Germany was talking about. The Facebook post created a stir on the web, by directly communicating with the brand’s fan base that shared the statement for the whole nation to see. Thus, creating further debate and causing real-life consequences, with right-wing people boycotting the brand and others rushing to stores to buy the virtual statement on 2,5 million real bottles.


Summer 2018: While Beck’s, Germany’s most popular beer brand, calls to a label design contest on its bottles, major media channels and the social web spread a disturbing photo from Eastern Germany, symbolic of the right-wing protests that turned violent that year. Unmistakably, in the middle of the photo: A Beck’s promo bottle. A PR disaster that has Germans suddenly asking themselves: “Are all Beck’s drinkers Nazis?”

Describe the creative idea (30% of vote)

We wanted to make sure that Beck’s never gets into the wrong hands again. That’s why we answered only two hours after the photo made the news: With the pre-release of a design entry. The label on the typical green Beck’s bottle has a distinctive double-meaning. Literally translated, it says “No brown bottles”. And like “red neck” or “white pride” are terms associated with a certain group of people, “brown botte” stands for “right-wing idiot” in German. A political statement that eventually reads: “Against right-wing idiots”.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

The idea was the pinnacle of a nationwide Beck’s campaign that called all of Germany to participate in a label design contest. For that purpose, the brand took away its most meaningful brand characteristic, the front label, replacing it with a bright-green “no label”. Giving way to the ideas and designs of its fans and everyone that has an opinion to express – the campaign’s mantra being: “You make it legendary.” This goes in line with the brand’s heritage and overall strategy: Being an export beer by DNA, Beck’s fosters open-mindedness and tolerance ever since and encourages people to explore a world beyond their own horizon.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Just two hours after the photo from Eastern Germany took over major media channels and the social feed, Beck’s answered with the pre-release of a fan’s design-label on Facebook. A simple zero-budget posting that caused a massive response rate, capturing what the whole nation felt at that time, infuriating right-wing politicians and creating a debate on social media. We used this momentum to go even one step further: We made the virtual bottle real and brought it into nationwide retail. Over 2,5 million times.

List the results (30% of vote)

Our post made the right-wing party and others boycott Beck’s, but we expressed what all of Germany felt that Summer. The label generated more than 505.000 interactions and became reality – in form of more than 2,5 million bottles that were sold out in no time all over Germany. The big social media buzz motivated Beck’s to extend its label design contest. Within only one month (August), the campaign generated 507.526 interactions and 11.499.265 media impressions. We reached 339.803 people, created 8.107 likes and more than 1.000 shares – with a single post and zero media budget. The idea marked the first time a brand spoke up to the cultural tensions and violent events in Germany in the Summer of 2018. Without a filter and through the eyes of the most important people: the real consumers out there that care about what society they want to live in.

Please tell us about the social behaviour and / or cultural insights that inspired your campaign

The social behavior that inspired campaign: The social climate in Germany is tense. Till this day, political parties are struggling to find consensus about hot how to deal with the wave of refugees coming from countries like Syria, Iraq or Northern Africa. The result? Trust in politics decreased and hate speech overtook public opinion – creating a climate of intolerance and discrimination. A climate that helped right-wing parties like the “AfD” to rise in popularity and even make it to the government. A shocking development for a country with a significant past! The protests in Eastern Germany were the climax of this development, resulting in violence and hate chases on immigrants. An event that shocked all of Germany and the brand had to act upon.