This is probably a story about Carlsberg, which is probably the best beer in the world

Being the best is a marketing paradox. Why bother with claiming your product is the greatest when you can create a much more unique position?

As some SUV brands have realised of late (looking at you SsangYong and Mahindra) it’s hard to prove a product is the best. Unless a product or service has a monopoly, which is highly unlikely, a lot of time and money needs to be invested to compare competitors and confidently say what you offer is objectively optimal. And one brand that understands this is Carlsberg.

It’s released its first local campaign, via TBWA, drawing inspiration from its international ‘Probably…’ taglines that toy with claims of being the best.

The ads in Auckland have caused consumers to quietly chuckle to themselves when driving to work or walking down a main street. A billboard in front of some bushes says: ‘Probably in front of some greenery’ and conveniently, Probably the best beer in the world’. 

And a billboard at the lights says: ‘Probably the green light you are waiting for’ with ‘Probably the best beer in the world’ tucked underneath a thirst quenching bottle of Carlsberg. The humour relies on the placement of each ad, with some simpler billboards saying they are ‘Probably a billboard on Albert Street’ or ‘Broadway’ at busy spots on each street.

Meanwhile, a series of 30-second radio adverts rely on a broad thinking chap who can apply eight degrees of separation to show how ‘Probably the best beer in the world’ is related to almost anything. A fancy tart? It’s probably a lemon meringue pie, which relates to acidity and therefore the pH scale created by Carlsberg in 1909. Easy.

Another takes grapes on a ‘probably’ world wind trip from France through to Copenhagen, the city of Carlsberg. And, in time for Christmas, a recent radio advert relates December to being a month, and there is 12 months in the year, being probably the average number of eggs in a carton, which have shells, and thus belong on a beach, by the sea, which starts with ‘C’ for Carlsberg. Did you follow that?

The tenuous tongue-in-check links show that creativity really does embrace constraints. The billboard and radio adverts are being rolled out in New Zealand alongside internationally created digital pre-roll. 

By working around every beer’s wish to be the best, Carlsberg gets the best of both worlds, being able to have ‘best’ written on their billboards as well as building a unique brand voice with beer-drinkers world over. 

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