Carabao launches multi-million pound integrated marketing campaign

In a bid to shake up the energy drink industry, the ‘Free Your Inner Carabao’ campaign is designed for a more unisex audience, as opposed to the ‘lad’ focussed communications usually associated with the market.

Carabao’s inclusive marketing strategy sees the ‘Free Your Inner Carabao’ creative rolled out across multiple channels from September 2016, and forms the basis of a holistic campaign for the brand across press, digital, outdoor, experiential, mobile, PR and social media.

The creative brings to life the notion that there is a ‘Carabao’ – the Asian water buffalo revered for its physical power, extraordinary stamina and unbreakable fighting spirit – in all of us, and Carabao Energy Drink can help consumers summon this inner strength.

Mads Perch, a Danish photographer who practices the construction of ‘real-time special-effects’ photography, uses an innovative ink effect that flows across perspex on a camera lens to produce the campaign creative that encapsulates the spirit and energy of Carabao.

The inclusive marketing strategy also sees Carabao undertake a series of high-profile partnerships. Carabao has already kicked off its heavy-weight sponsorship deal with Chelsea FC which sees the brand become a principal commercial sponsor of the club, as well as official training-wear partner, for the next three seasons. In addition, the energy drink has recently announced a new three-year principal partnership deal with Reading FC, including home and away kit sponsorship.

With the ambition to broaden the energy drinks market, Carabao also brokered a partnership with LFW, becoming the Official Energy Drink Partner. Carabao fridges full of the premium product provided energy for everyone involved with the key fashion event, from backstage teams and runway models through to press and VIP guests on the front row. Carabao was present during presentations, parties and events outside of the central Brewer Street runway space, with Tuk Tuks offering lifts to the fashion crowd and sampling product.

Established fifteen years ago in Thailand, the home of energy drinks, Carabao will initially be available in two variants – ‘Original’ and ‘Sugar Free’, with further flavour launches planned for later in 2016.

John Luck, chief marketing officer comments: “Our UK research demonstrates there is a huge community of time-poor and energy-starved consumers, men and women alike, that currently feel energy drinks are not relevant to them or their lifestyles.

We intend to break the mould with our multi-million pound marketing campaign, and position Carabao as a more grown-up and accessible-to-all energy drink. Our marketing will communicate to a much broader, unisex audience, including consumer groups that are not traditionally associated with energy drinks, and show how our great-tasting premium product can help consumers to rise to their everyday challenges.”

Carabao’s media campaign is a mixture of outdoor, digital, experiential and mobile and will consist of nearly 1,800 roadside 6-sheets, digital displays across gaming, snacking, parenting, students and fitness sites. Carabao will also have a series of mobile banners and billboards.

The creative campaign was shot by Quiet Storm, PR and social media activity is being driven by W Communications, while Total Media is managing the media planning and buying

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