Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Truly Stylish Campaign Development

Navigating the changing landscape of premium

Adjusting To Change

In many markets around the world, Peroni Nastro Azzurro (PNA) is truly a stand-out brand; one famously anchored in Italian style. But so much has been changing in recent years: premiumisation in beer; the craft beer explosion; spirits staking a claim to moments that once belonged firmly with beer.

Moreover, interpretations of style and luxury haven’t exactly been standing still, either, with many of the more orthodox tropes in this space losing relevance. The very real danger, therefore, was that PNA, and its take on Italian style and luxury, were also being usurped.

Against that backdrop, the need for PNA to bring fresher qualities to its position and its communications becomes apparent. Our work with them was in two stages: style understanding and campaign exploration.

1. Style Understanding

Style is a very easy term to bandy about, but getting to what it means today, why it matters to people and how PNA can continue to play on it, takes carefully considered investigation. This phase would provide the foundational perspective; the guidance to inform campaign development.

Phase One Methods

+ Semiotics - our in-house semioticians conducted cultural analysis on contemporary meanings of style, success, self-confidence and achievement. Deploying a clear ‘from - to’ framework, they pinpointed the mass (rather than fringe) trajectory of these concepts, illustrating them through brand examples. From there, they overlaid the implications for Italian style; including for the positioning, creative and tonality of PNA

+ Consumer work - digital - we recruited participants to a detailed criteria, beginning our engagement with permission to access their Instagram feeds, observing how they express style preferences, perceive social achievement and portray an aspirational image. Stimulus material from this stage was used as conversational springboards in the interviews

+ Consumer work - friendship pair interviews - focusing in on themes such as style/Italian style, achievement, the beer category and PNA. Given the highly social nature of most of these themes, friendship pair interviews offered a great dynamic, with us using projective techniques to overcome biases and posturing

Phase One Outcomes

Our work identified critical shifts in what the definition of ‘success’ is for PNA’s target audience. This, in turn, has evolved their interpretations of style to something that has more of an effortless, enduring and ‘true’ feel to it.

This kickstarted our process of identifying the components of Italian style that PNA needs to leverage: lifestyle (elevated living), external style (quality, craftsmanship), and internal style (true style, confidence). We advised that, at present, their creative work was only tapping into one of these: external style. Also, that with ‘true style’ now speaking to inner confidence, PNA were reflecting an outmoded view.

Semiotically, we decoded Italian style’s place in culture and found that the biggest opportunity for PNA lies in capturing ‘Genuine Italian Charisma’. This code is characterised by connecting to surroundings (natural and social) and a stripped back elegance that comes equipped with understated charm and quality over outright glamour.

Previous PNA campaign work
Previous PNA campaign work
Moving to 'true style' with PNA's new campaign
Moving to 'true style' with PNA's new campaign

2. Campaign Exploration

Now working alongside JWT, as well as PNA stakeholders, we needed to take the foundational work through to the development of a compelling, globally-relevant core creative idea (plus associated local executions).

Our brief was to explore the CCI territories, to evaluate potential executional routes and provide clear and constructive guidelines. Doing this in an agile and collaborative fashion was essential, too, as was coming up with a method design that would negate the type of ‘research effect’ that often blights creative development work.

Phase Two Methods

+ Exploring early stage CCI territories in the key global market- immersive, exploratory workshops at Crowd DNA's London HQ. The aim of the sessions was to explore four CCI ideas at a broader conceptual level, pinpointing consumer interest, appeal, relatability and fit with new expressions of Italian style

+ Capturing responses to creative directions across global markets - 10 day online community split across the markets of the UK, Australia, Canada, France and Romania. Participants engaged with a range of executions (OOH, digital, ATL, BTL, events) and were tasked to contribute in ways that would reveal both system one and two responses

Phase Two Outcomes

We provided robust and confident direction to the PNA and JWT teams on the most powerful CCI to progress with, including executional guidelines and how to optimise the work per market.

Details therein included advising that product is central to driving reappraisal; presenting protagonists as ‘posed but playful’; the current underestimation of the audience’s appetite for learning about Italy; and the significance of activations in PNA gaining commercial advantage on its competitors.

It was a productive, inspiring, high energy journey! We guided Peroni Nastro Azzurro from a place where style and luxury looked too cold, clinical and entrenched in dated cues, to somewhere culturally relevant, inclusive and a whole lot more charming. That’s true style for you.

The work is now coming to stylish (of course!) fruition – such as in the well-received ‘Vite Con Stile’ campaign featured here.