A campaign focused on mental availability and a more mature portrayal of beer drinkers increased the market share of Great Northern Brewing Co’s Super Crisp brand from 2.2% to 12% in just three years – and won it the Grand Effie in the Australian Effie Awards.

The figures, based on brand owner Carlton United Breweries’ internal tracking, mean the brand came in a couple of years ahead of target: the aim had been to reach and overtake by 2020 the 12% share rival XXXX Gold had averaged in the preceding five years.

The winning paper (read it in full here: Carlton: Overtaking the classics to become Australia’s favourite beer) outlines how the Great Northern Brewing Co had delivered a well-received mid-strength product on a par with competitors in this space in terms of distribution, but had failed to gain the hoped-for market share.

“The challenge to marketing and the agency was to bring the fourth ‘P’, promotion, to life,” the authors write. “We needed to create national mental availability of the Great Northern Brewing Co, leading with our mid-strength offering, Super Crisp.”

One of the ways they did that was by talking to older drinkers, male and female, who were less interested in craft beers than a lower-alcohol beer that still tasted good.

And the way they chose to talk to them marked a shift away from the larrikin image Australian beer advertising has tended to deploy.

“Bear Grylls, Escape Fishing with ET and people at Australia's favourite hardware store Bunnings sprung to the mind of our current audience today when talking through who in culture represented this/them.”

Campaigns since 2015 have featured visually stunning film showcasing mates enjoying the great outdoors in ways far removed from the slapstick approach of previous years, while content, partnerships and experiential activities showed the target audience experiencing “brand pillar areas” that defined Great Northern’s roots in Queensland.

Not only has Great Northern become the top beer in CUB’s portfolio, the authors report, it’s Australia’s most popular beer and has returned an overall ROI of 37%.

Read more of the winning case studies from the Australian Effies here.

Sourced from WARC