Adjusting to the Times:

Pitch Brand exploration for South Africa’s loved beer, Carling Black Label

In 2011, there was an evolution of masculinity in South Africa. Carling Black Label’s expression of physical labor as the epitome of what it means to be a man was thus outdated, and had to evolve for its consumers. This leader brand needed to re-affirm its leadership position, and take back market share. The brands purpose was redefined to retain the position of the lead volume brand within South African Breweries and was required to compete in alternative categories that were premium-dominated.

A pitch on a brand and packaging upgrade comprising of an updated proposition, ATL mix, look and feel that had to contemporise the brand and align with modern masculinity. To further drive the appeal and credibility of a truly differentiated product and to be a credible player in a rapidly evolving and premiumising market.

Ibstrat proposed a brand revamp of Carling Black Label’s Big Brand Identity design, beginning with the Brand Strategy, Big Brand tone and image, including a lock down on the logo. In our approach, we migrated the brand to retain the traditional consumer, and recruit the younger consumer on the can segment of the Architecture and through design. Innovation in print technique was proposed on the can, as this was a textured ink. The subtle move from black to a dark charcoal managed to retain the colour strategy of the brand, in a more modern way. The bottle design on the non-returnable portion of the portfolio included emboss and deboss detail, that was able to run on high speed bottling lines.

The three stripes were moved from a graphic equitable device into a brand property in the logo and Masterbrand feel. This locked down IP, memorability and ease of application across all brand touch points. The Masterbrand stretched well across the application touch points, from the primary range of packaging including secondary packaging, to the structure design on non-returnable and retention of the volume based returnable bottles.