Foster’s stands by VB’s new brand positioning in spite of decline

Foster’s leading beer brand VB is continuing to lose market share to rival Lion Nathan in spite of more than doubling its marketing spend. But the company says it stands by the new brand positioning launched in July last year.  

The ad campaign, The Regulars, created by Droga5, replaced VB’s long-running “hard-earned thirst” theme and tagline. Spearheaded by a TV ad filmed in Ballart with a cast of 1500 it aimed to feature archetypal Aussie men.

But a new report by Citigroup sent to clients stated that recent efforts to revive the VB brand including brand extensions into the low-carb sector with VB Raw and mid-strength with VB Gold, as well as a renewed marketing focus “have to date generated little in the way of success”.

“As a result of weakness within its VB family, FGL’s (Foster’s Group Limited) overall beer volumes have significantly lagged key competitor Lion Nathan,” the report said.

Foster’s beer division Carlton and United Breweries, with marketing led by Peter Sinclair, is trying to revive its market position by more than doubling its marketing to an estimated $30m in the current financial year. Much of that is being invested in its original and main product VB green.

But a spokesman said there were no plans to review the repositioning strategy of VB and The Regulars campaign.

“Absolutely not. It’s a medium to long term strategy to reposition the brand. However the campaign is travelling very well,” the spokesman said.


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