Stella/Punchdrunk’s Black Diamond Heist Experience


Stella Artois has again collaborated with pioneering theatre company Punchdrunk for an immerse experience to promote Stella Black. Following hot on the heels of last year’s ‘The Night Chauffeur’, this summer’s theatrical plot focuses on the ‘The Black Diamond’. Of course, it is the spectators and viewers, as with all Punchdrunk productions, who lie at the very heart of the action.


Black is being positioned as a sophisticated new style lager, perhaps a direct response to Stella’s unwanted ‘wife beater’ nickname. So the campaign is taking a highly stylised approach. So in classic film noir style, the show features all the intriguing clichés of love, deception and desire.


The previous Night Chauffeur experience saw customers buying the new beer in 10 carefully positioned London bars can apply for free tickets for the 15-minute show. The personal performance actually took place in the back seat in a 1960s Citroën DS. Ticket holders were driven around the local area in pairs while they were told a story about the painful relationship between an embittered old man and his daughter.


The new show is set in 1963. A diamond has been snatched just before our hero proposes to his love with it. It is at this moment that the ticket holder is snatched in East London by a man who professes his fear of what he might do tonight. Without spoiling the plot, the experience involves East London bars, cool cars, singing, beer and, of course, a diamond heist.


This time round the experience is boosted with a campaign website and an online viral to boot.




Less of a sponsorship, more of a paid for theatrical launch campaign, this kind of corporate partnership tends to throw up questions about the creative partner’s credibility rather than the brand’s disruptive influence on the event. Although, to be fair, Punchdrunk typically avoids having its name on the marketing material for such events.


But it is a fresher, more original and more genuine experience than some of the other recent viral/experience initiatives we’ve seen from other brands.


Furthermore, it fits in with Stella’s ongoing marcoms heritage. The strategy reflects Stella’s tradition of telling stories and French vintage heritage in its marketing, but this time in fresh, original and sophisticated ways. Of course, the aim is to generate positive PR from the media and word of mouth from those directly involved.









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