77 Southbank Blvd.
Southbank, Victoria 3006
Telephone: 61 3 96332000
Fax: 61 3 96332000
Web site: www.fostersgroup.com
In 1990 Foster's Lager, owned by Foster's Group Limited (previously Foster's Brewing Group) and distributed and marketed by Miller Brewing Company in the United States, began pursuing a U.S. strategy of associating itself with "Australianness." After a detour away from this marketing strategy, Miller and its Foster's agency, Angotti, Thomas, Hedge of New York, in 1994 released "How to Speak Australian," which became one of the longest-running and most popular beer advertising campaigns of its time.
"How to Speak Australian" began with spot placements in regional markets and an estimated budget of $3 million. In 1997 Miller made it a national campaign and increased the budget to approximately $10 million. From 1994 to 2001 the campaign's central idea remained consistent. TV spots introduced a word or term, such as "Room Service," and then showed what that term meant in Australia; in this case, it meant a live chicken and a meat cleaver delivered to a hotel guest's room. Following such arresting redefinitions of commonplace terms was an image of the Foster's can, labeled "Beer." The commercials closed with the tagline "Fosters. Australian for Beer." Print, outdoor, and radio executions followed this basic model, which seemed virtually inexhaustible. Four to six new TV spots were crafted each year, and the consistency of the platform also meant that old spots could be recycled as long as they remained fresh.
"How to Speak Australian" won a Silver EFFIE Award in 1994 and a Gold EFFIE in 1995, and the Foster's brand grew rapidly in the United States through 1998. The campaign remained popular, and the brand continued to grow, but by 2000 Foster's sales had begun to be eclipsed by other beers in the imported-beer market. Some analysts believed that Miller had missed an opportunity to turn Foster's into an import stalwart along the lines of category-leading Corona Extra. After the dissolution of Angotti, Thomas, Hedge in 2001 Miller assigned the Foster's advertising account to Chicago's J. Walter Thompson agency. J. Walter Thompson made an unsuccessful attempt to reinterpret what was by then a classic advertising campaign, and in the following years Miller continued searching for the right agency to update the Foster's identity.
In the 1980s the Foster's Brewing Group (which later bought heavily into wine brands and dropped "Brewing" from its name) set out to make its undistinguished namesake brew stand out from the pack of Australian beers by raising its profile internationally. As the brand attained
During the 1990s and into the first half of the following decade, Foster's was distributed and marketed in the United States according to a succession of complex corporate arrangements in which its Australian parent company partnered with the Canadian beer maker Molson and the United States' Miller...