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Foster's Lager: from local beer to global icon

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Abstract:

Purpose ‐ This paper seeks to analyse Foster's Lager advertising since the early 1980s. In particular, it aims to focus on the Foster's Lager "I Believe" integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaign launched in 2000 and the use of "commercial nationalism". Design/methodology/approach ‐ A close textual analysis consisting of semiotics, shot combination analysis, and content analysis is incorporated into the discussion of the Foster's Lager advertisements examined. These methodologies are helpful for deconstructing mediated representations of this iconic beer brand. Findings ‐ Nationalism and humour have both played an important part in Foster's Lager advertising campaigns. However, campaigns in more recent times have become more sophisticated and ironic. In examining a number of significant advertising campaigns for Australia's flagship beer, the transition from national to global beer brand can be documented. Since 1888 the brand name Foster's has evolved from being just one of a number of beer brands in Australia to the international flagship product of the global beverage giant, and fourth largest brewing company in the world, Foster's Group Limited. Research limitations/implications ‐ In particular, the Foster's Lager "I Believe" campaign was an excellent example of the witty use of nationalism and patriotism to communicate a message. Practical implications ‐ Examining how the Foster's Lager brand evolved into a global brand provides lessons for marketers and educators, particularly in the effective use of commercial nationalism. Originality/value ‐ The paper brings a detailed analysis of the successful use of commercial nationalism.

Keywords: Advertising; Australia; Brands; Integrated marketing communications; International marketing

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02634500910944977

Publication date: March 27, 2009

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