Building on the previous campaign, True Determination, this new ABC Stout campaign takes the brand to the next level by injecting a deeper emotion – Recognition.

The newly developed print campaign, “True heroes have true determination” strikes an emotional cord with our drinkers. They are primarily in their late 30s to mid 40s, Chinese speaking, mainly blue-collar workers. They believe in the good old Chinese value of integrity – where a word is worth a thousand pieces of gold. Most of them have been through life, unfortunately, their contributions and sacrifices don’t seem to be recognised by most people.

To ABC Stout, these are our every day heroes. We want to glorify the selfless sacrifices they have made for their families, friends and the society. We want to celebrate their achievements.

Mr Kevin Tan, 30, Brand Manager of ABC Extra Stout said the lives and actions of the people featured would resonate with his consumers who were normal, everyday people.

“They have been contributing to their friends, families and the society in a very minor way, most of which are not significant to win them the Businessman of the Year award or any award for that matter. Sometimes, they may be forgotten or taken for granted,” said Mr Tan.

Mr Tan is also the brains behind last year’s controversial coffee shop road shows that featured skimpily dressed pole dancers. “The new campaign is an attempt to correct any negative perception of the product. In the past, our focus was on physical strength, now we want to take the product to a different level by identifying ourselves with our consumers’ values.”

The idea is to portray these people as the true heroes. We want to make them larger than life. The new campaign features them like a superhero in a movie. The whole execution is deliberately crafted like movie posters. To make this campaign authentic and real, we short-listed 4 out of 50 ordinary people from all walks of life. These real life heroes are carefully chosen for one specific reason; they have gone beyond their call of duty just to help others. It’s a selfless act, even to the extent of putting themselves in danger of their own lives.

“Without doubt, that’s true determination, and it’s in line with the brand, strategically. Such unique quality is a perfect mirror of the drink itself; it takes a person with true determination to master the taste of ABC Stout. It’s quite an achievement, for those who can overcome the bitterness, sweetness will follow,” said Francis Wee, ECD of BBDO Singapore.

These four chosen heroes come with a real story that happened in their lives. One of the ads show a guy saving a storeman from a fire when he was in national service.

The other hero featured is a taxi driver. This story will connect with most of ABC’s consumers. He raised his 3 children and gave them the education he never had – a university degree. This particular story has strong emotional values and mass appeal. It’s the most common practice for all parents, and everybody seems to take it for granted. It makes an ordinary taxi driver seem extraordinary with his selfless act for his family.

All the heroes and stories featured in this advertising campaign are real. The beauty of this new ABC Stout campaign, written by Ali Shabaz and art directed by Joseph Tay, is that it is relevant, emotional and gutsy.

It’s a strong campaign idea that everyone can relate to. This idea will be integrated into other channels too. Currently, ABC is tying up with a TV station to produce a program on “Everyday heroes.” There’s also a contest to get people to nominate their heroes. Naturally, the one that gets the highest vote will be featured in the next ad. “Interestingly, this campaign allows us to do topical ads. For example, in the recent Sars outbreak, there are heroes who go beyond the call of duty to help others. Such selfless acts should be recognised. And as a brand or a corporate citizen, ABC is proud to be associated with these everyday heroes,” said Wee.

A brand that truly understands and recognises its drinkers not just by talking about it, but doing it in its advertising. That’s the commitment and bonding ABC wants to have with their target audience. It’s important for the brand to be able to connect with its consumers emotionally.

ABC Extra Stout has maintained its sales and gained a small extra percentage of market share during tough market conditions. The effect of this campaign on sales or consumer perception are not available at the time of writing.