Building a new world for an iconic beer brand.

Budweiser Budvar: The Republic of Beer

  • 5,255,000 cross platform video views
  • 356 press placements
  • 88% film watch-through

"Instrumental to the last three years of record trading, UNTOLD is more than an agency. They are trusted members of our team. There’s no better agency to share your stories with the world."

Ivan Seleštiansky,

Export Marketing Director,
Budweiser Budvar.

Our challenge

In 2020, iconic Czech lager Budweiser Budvar wanted to reposition itself worldwide as the quality, slow-brewed lager at the heart of an incredible, thousand-year Czech brewing culture. As well as the ever-present challenge of misidentification of this heritage brand with the US beer that *shares* half its name, the aim was to embody and translate the spirit of the Czech Republic and create a sense of identity, taste and place in the minds of beer drinkers. In other words, to ensure that whenever you think of Czech lager, you think of Budweiser Budvar. Challenges varied across global territories, with Budvar needing a strategy and vision to unify markets and meet ambitious targets to grow the brand.

Our solution

As the newly appointed global agency for Budweiser Budvar, UNTOLD conceived a completely fresh brand world around a new positioning strap: Greetings from the Republic of Beer. This evergreen central concept would not only decipher and distill every element of the brand’s history, heritage, processes and brewing DNA, but drive the brand vision forward, ticking the wider objective to promote the country’s beer culture globally.

Through the strategy, creation and delivery of 12 new global websites (for 70+ territories) and ongoing story-led campaigns based around films, features, social, paid media, print, digital PR and experiential activations, UNTOLD has revolutionised brand awareness and boosted Budvar’s reputation. Winning hearts and minds across territories, we have helped Budvar set the standard for beer marketing across Europe and delivered the best trading years on record for the 130-year-old brewery.

The power of show don’t tell

At the heart of this campaign has been consistent and quality storytelling. From the brewing process to the story of Budvar’s ingredients and pour, the importance of time and the brewery’s independent spirit and its collaborations with up-and-coming Czech craft pioneers, these stories have unpacked the brand world, showing rather than telling the magic of Budweiser Budvar.

We built the concept of the ‘Republic of Beer’ around six core story pillars that would position the Czech Republic as the home of quality lager and explore why Budvar is the world’s largest ‘craft’ brewery at the heart of a nation of beer lovers. All content was targeted to Budvar’s broad audiences through a variety of formats, styles and channels - from in-depth technical information and in-person tutored tastings for brewing experts, to bespoke Reels and films that delivered the same messages in a more snackable format through paid social.

Overtaking competitors

The campaign continues to be a metric-smashing, ground-breaking global marketing play. The aim was to evoke the spirit of the Czech Republic in the minds of every Budvar drinker; the outcome has been unprecedented results, increased profile, advocacy and growth, resulting in the iconic beer overtaking its main competitor, Pilsner Urquell, to become the most successful export lager from the Czech Republic in the world. So far, the campaign has delivered:

- 5,255,000 million targeted cross-platform video views.
- 48,000 hours of content watched on YouTube.
- 88% YouTube watch-through rates (over 3X the industry average).
- 12.9% social engagement (over 10X industry average).
- 2+ minutes average web dwell time.
- 500+ carefully crafted social posts.
- 18 films in five languages and across three visual brand identities.
- 12 brand websites in eight languages.
- 5 experiential activation events across different European countries.
- 356 pieces of press coverage from national press and tastemakers: from hyper-targeted micro influencers to national media like The Sunday Times, Esquire, GQ and Conde Nast.

  • The campaign has won 12 awards, including best in class at all major global beer marketing awards, as well as prestigious awards from The Drum and the award for most effective branded content in the world at the global FAB awards.

On film

  • Bohemian Idols: Budvar x Clock

    Where the zest of New World hops and the spirit of craft are blended with our time-honoured brewing traditions. Along the way, we captured the story of its creation, from plans to pour.

  • The Czech Pub

    Mark Dredge, beer writer and beer expert on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch and ITV's Love Your Weekend, heads to the Republic of Beer - the Czech Republic - to explore the unique institution that is the Czech pub. Expect beer cheese, pub VIPs and incredible, slow-matured lager.

  • The Budvar Glass

    A journey through the old and new glass-making traditions of the Czech Republic led by world-renowned glass artist Rony Plesl, designer of the iconic Budvar glass.