BBH's Hofmeister beer campaign nods to '80s ad-land with an 'effortlessly cool' bear

Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) has repositioned beer brand Hofmeister, creating a new campaign that looks to put "quality, taste and sophistication" at the heart of the brand.

The campaign stars George The Bear, a character some might remember from Hofmeister's 1980s and 90s ads, in a deliberate move to build on nostalgia for the brand. This is Hofmeister's first campaign to launch for several years, and it takes a slick, distinctly old-school approach that oozes class but with a healthy dose of humour.

Indicating both the passage of time since George's last outings for Hofmeister and its refreshed brand and product, the bear "has grown up and is more sophisticated and knowledgeable, emulating a modern-day and effortlessly cool persona," according to BBH.

Across the images, George is seen louchely lounging in an armchair, ironically sporting a fur coat, or posing seductively on the floor, staring into the camera lens with a steely model's poise. In a beautiful nod to Adland's constant refrains that things ain't what they used to be when it comes to making great creative, the image in which George sports a smart suit, sitting in a stylish office-style chair, bears the slogan, 'Remember those lout, eighties lager ads? Me neither.'

While this copy varies across the images, the bottom of every ad reads I'm Back. For Classier Beer, Follow the Bear.'

Shot in black and white against the sort of mottled backgrounds favoured by commercial portrait studios in decades gone by, the images are a witty, sharp and very knowing pastiche of all that was once seen as the very height of sophistication. It's a parody of ad-land, beer branding and old-school smoking-at-your-desk, long-boozy-lunches masculinity, gently prodding fun at the ridiculousness of it all but with a hint of fond nostalgia.

The work launched on 3 April and spans high-profile OOH, press, and partnership content underpinned by a refreshed social media strategy across paid and organic comms. Media agency Electric Glue has worked with BBH on the launch, planning and deployment of the media strategy.


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