William Trubridge is probably not sipping on a Steinlager Pure at the moment, given he's preparing to break his own freediving world record on Wednesday morning New Zealand time and descend 102m into the Caribbean. But there will undoubtedly be a few waiting for him on the boat if he returns to the surface victorious. And, in addition to a number of billboards, plenty of in-bar activation and a special elevator, Lion and DDB are aiming to get more Kiwis watching the record attempt live on TV One's Breakfast with the help of another moody TVC.
Viewers are also able to Shazam the ad to show their support and sign up for updates. And Steinlager is also using the Herald's Brand Insight platform to run a series of articles on the dive.
Since its launch in 2007, Steinlager Pure has moved from favouring overseas endorsements from the likes of Harvey Keitel, Willem Dafoe and Vincent Gallo to a more celebratory Kiwi-centric approach, with Taika Waititi putting his comedic and directorial skills to good use in 2012.
"It's probably a step on from Taika," said Steinlager's senior brand manager Michael Taylor back in July when the sponsorship was announced. "It's more than just having him talking about what we've done. It's about showing someone achieving on the world stage. It's also a lot more now than what we've done in the past."
Steinlager has been involved with the All Blacks since 1986, and, given the important place rugby holds in this country, it's not surprising that the team's remarkable achievements have been well-covered. But free diving is decidedly niche and Taylor says one of the reasons Steinlager signed Trubridge up is because it doesn't seem right that he isn't a household name in his own country given his own remarkable achievements.
"It's been great to share a new story that not many people have heard, rather than just digging up an old story. And Kiwis love to see one of their own doing well."
Taylor said adding in an experiential element to the campaign was something it knew it needed to do.
"Having a good 60 second ad and some outdoor ads isn't really enough to engage with consumers these days. So I think having the event live definitely makes this campaign more compelling."
Just like the Red Bull Stratos stunt, live events carry with them more risk, as there's every chance he won't break the record and, with around 40 people dying each year from free diving accidents, it's bloody dangerous. But it also means more reward and there's already been a heap of PR coverage, which is good for the brand and good for Trubridge.