Stella Artois tries to reclaim the best of pre-pandemic living

A new global campaign developed by Anomaly Toronto promotes the beer to the stressed work-from-home set.

The creatives at Anomaly Toronto have developed a new global campaign for Stella Artois that puts the premium pilsner at the centre of efforts to restore work-life balance.

The campaign, which will run in Canada as well as seven other global markets – including the U.S., Mexico, South Korea and Argentina – features Shirley Bassey’s song “Spinning Wheel” and a clever insight about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, while painting Stella as a champion for the reclamation of the better parts of pre-pandemic living. The spot targets 25- to 40-year-old professionals who are both cultured and career-driven.

“Work life has crept into our home life,” says Neil Blewett, group creative director at Anomaly. “With phones, emails, and social media, we are always connected and always working, to the point where our dining tables have basically become our desks. We have dinners in front of laptops instead of each other. So we wanted to encourage people to disconnect from work and take back the table. Or, in this case, flip it.”

Blewett is being literal there. In the new spot, a woman is using her dining table as her workspace when her partner brings in two chalices of Stella Artois. The woman hesitates, looking over her crowded table – but then decides to literally flip it so she can have dinner with her partner. Shortly thereafter, he flips the table for a group gathering, and the concept is established.

It was a complex shoot for the brand, which has a mandate to “make art, not ads.” This was largely because the spot does not use CGI – everything depicted is “real” and done with practical effects, according to Gary Driver, supervisor for the Mill VFX, which worked on post-production.

The campaign will run on TV and in cinema, as well as on social, OOH and across other platforms yet to be named. While it will go live in each of the markets at different times, it will wrap in all of them by the end of the year.