Brahma’s World Cup Barley From Brazil Training Ground

Brahma cleverly blends beer brewing barley with Brazilian soccer heritage in an authentic campaign that leverages its sponsorship of the national team and of the FIFA World Cup via a limited edition Brahma Selecao Especial.


The Anheuser-Busch InBev brand rolled out its limited edition beer in March with will a campaign promoting Selecao Especial’s unique Brazilian football credentials – the beer is made from barley grown on the genuine soccer pitches upon which the iconic Brazilian national team trained for decades.


The beer’s barley was grown on the pitches of the team’s famous Granja Comary training centre –considered by many Brazilian soccer fans as sacred ground.


The Brazilian Soccer Confederation remodelled its headquarters at the Granja Comary and the training pitches were freed up during the rebuilding programme – so the official beer sponsor came up with the idea of sowing a field of barley on the old training pitches upon which Brazil grew no less than five World Cup winning teams.


The matching marketing campaign includes a 30-second TV commercial,



print executions, point of sale work and online videos exploring the project.


Africa Lab, the innovation and product development unit of Brahma’s agency, came up with the idea and A-B InBev’s agronomists and brewers spent two months preparing the soil to grow barley instead of grass.


‘Brahma is the official sponsor of the Brazilian soccer team, and the official beer of the World Cup,’ said Sergio Gordilho, co-president and chief creative officer of Brahma agency Africa. ‘We wanted to launch a product that got inside the team itself. How do you unite soccer and beer?’


Brazilian manager Luiz Felipe Scolari is reported to have taken a personal interest in the project and the fixed camera that recorded the barley growing captured plenty of images of Big Phil checking out the growing grain field.


Scolari, a Brahma brand ambassador, has put his signature on all the limited edition bottles.




Brahma Selecao Especial went on sale in March in major Brazilian supermarkets and other retail outlets at around twice the price of a regular Brahma beer.


A more expensive version consisting of 2,014 bottles, each bearing a number between 1 and 2,014, can be pre-ordered at Brahma’s Brazilian website.


Although a few numbers have already been reserved for soccer stars – bottle No1 will go to Scolari himself, current captain Thiago Silva has reserved bottle No2, while No9 is being saved for former superstar Ronaldo (whose number 9 shirt was retired from the squad in his honour).


The sub-brand’s name, Brahma Selecao Especial, derives from the Portuguese ‘Selecao Brasileira’ name for the Brazilian national soccer team.


Africa Lab, which also developed the distinctive black bottle with lines in green and yellow (Brazil’s team colors), is reported to be still working out a format for charging clients developing this type of product-led idea (although in this example Brahma is paying the agency a project fee).


‘The idea came before the ads. This is the role agencies will increasingly have to play—develop products with clients, and then think about the ads,’ says Gordilho. ‘Creating a commercial is quick, but creating a product that fits the brand takes much longer.’




Brahma Selecao Especial Website



Brahma Website



Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) Website



Africa Website



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