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Carlsberg – probably the worst slogan in the world?

Trying to move onwards when you have one of the world’s best-known slogans was never going to be easy. ‘Probably the best lager in the world’ was genius, standing out from the clamour of ad slogans all claiming to be the best, making us smile.

But ‘Probably not the best beer in the world. So we changed it’ is – awful. The writer has completely missed the point of the humour in the original, has taken the whole thing too seriously, and suggested that the earlier product was terrible. As David Mitchell comments in a wonderful article in The Observer last week: ‘How long have they been thinking this?’.

To compound all of this, Carlsberg kicked off its relaunch campaign by sharing on Twitter a bunch of consumer tweets slagging off the old lager (‘like drinking the bathwater your nan died in’), to set the scene for the promising future of the re-brand. But really, Carlsberg, who’s going to trust you now?  

I can imagine the conversation at Carlsberg in which the word ‘lager’ was changed to ‘beer’, too, presumably in some misguided belief that it would make them sound more international (aka ‘bland’).

Promoting lager may be a million miles away from writing copy in publishing, but all the techniques available and traps to fall into are just the same. We can all learn from this example and I’d highly recommend David Mitchell’s articulate article, which is as insightful as it is entertaining. Of course, our Copywriting Workshop is the best way to improve your own writing. No probably about it.

Read David Mitchell’s article on The Guardian website.

Read more about our Copywriting Workshop.


30 April 2019

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