The Skol lager ad with the immortal last line. Watch to the end – it’ s a cracker. It also was a landmark campaign for lager, according to the agency that made it – D’Arcy Macmanus & Masius.
Why was it different? Because it was among the first mass-advertised lagers to focus on the context of the drink rather than the product quality.
For young men, the core target market, taste was not their real motivation for drinking lager; what mattered to them was the sociability and conviviality involved in drinking. This was the opportunity. The Skolars campaign, “When you know lager, you’re a Skolar” expressed all emotional motivations for drinking lager and indissolvably linked them to Skol.
Within two years Skol’s previously declining market share had been restored to the position it held in the mid seventies. This despite the interruptions to supply caused by industrial disputes.
Neither product quality, nor price relative to other standard lagers had changed and distribution had in fact declined. Thus of all the marketing factors that could conceivably have influenced the brand’s market share only advertising could have been responsible for the gains achieved in the last two years.
IPA Effectiveness Awards, 1982
The agency of course was being slightly disingenuous. Happy, convivial drinkers had been part and parcel of beer advertising since the start of beer advertising. But the difference with the 1978 ‘When you know lager, you’re a Skolar’ ads was that the drinkers weren’t happy as a direct result of the beer’s own characteristics, but because of the social context they were served in.
In other words it was part of the long farewell to claims of “Refreshment” and being “Probably the best” and towards such dubious practices as ‘Following the bear’ and making a ‘sHarp exit’.