By Maria Gregoriou
THE long-running near duopoly in the beer market between KEO and Carlsberg has heated up with KEO rebranding its traditional yellow label to appeal to a younger, trendier crowd
The new label, printed in Brussels and launched on July 1, has gone bigger on the trademark yellow background and the name KEO, written in red, while 1951, the year the brewery was established, has been proudly put on prominent display.
“Drinkers seem to enjoy the new look and feedback tells us that the label is working towards looking good and keeping young and fresh,” said brand manager of the beer, George Georgiou.
He said the change is attracting a younger crowd and the feedback has been very positive on Twitter and Instagram.
“The company wanted to keep the brand fresh and attract the younger population without alienating loyal KEO fans. This is why the label has stayed true to its yellow colour, representing the sun in Cyprus,” Georgiou said. The original label was designed in the UK in 1951.
The KEO logo is now in a vertical position (leading some to argue it reads upside down!), and while the label used to read ‘Brewed on the Island of Cyprus,’ the world ‘proudly’ has now been added.
“We did this to show how proud of our beer we are and of its Cypriot roots,” Georgiou said.
The new label has been launched together with three new television advertisements, geared towards drinking with friends. The slogan running at the end of the advert is ‘even colder, even more beer’.
So is the relaunch working?
According to the marketing manager of KEO, George Evripiotis beer sales are on the rise despite the recession.
“The market is down in general but, as far as the beer goes, we are doing very well considering that the label was launched in the middle of the year. We are hoping to do even better,” Evripiotis said.
Evripiotis was not able to talk numbers as the company sales for 2012 will not be published until the first week of September.
“We are a public company so we do publish this information and this information will be available in about a month,” Evripiotis explained.
A quick straw poll of KEO drinkers indicated that the change has been mostly welcomed.
One Twitter follower commenting on the new-look KEO described it as a “great campaign for this summer”.
Another follower said she was celebrating the royal birth (the UK’s Prince George) with a bottle of KEO.
Nicosia beer drinker 21-year-old student Nicholas Stephanou said he liked the new look. “The new label is more attractive and it gives the look of a beer of the future.”
Another 21-year-old student, Savvas Gregoriou, was less sure.
“The new one maybe hip but the old bottle characterised KEO, you knew it was KEO just by looking at it,” Gregoriou said. “We just need some time to get used to it.”
Next on the list to receive the new labelled beer is the United Kingdom where KEO beer is exported to 800 Tesco supermarkets. KEO beer is also exported to America, France, Greece, Sweden, Finland and Japan.
For now KEO has only changed its beer products but is planning to revamp other products in the future.
“Marketing of the new look began with the beer and will continue into our other products,” said Georgiou. “The process behind refreshing a product is costly so we decided to put our efforts into the beer because we wanted to reach out to a younger market.”
To coincide with the launch of new look KEO, there is a competition on the KEO beer facebook page named KEO House Party. Three people will win free KEO beer and a DJ for a house party. The first winner was announced on July 31, the second will be announced on August 12 and the third on September 1.