Aggressive marketing throughout 2012 allowed Tsingtao to increase sales, and thus win share, despite a beer consumption slump tied to China’s economic slowdown, Millward Brown said, while the brand is now sold in 60+ countries.
“Tsingtao benefits from its heritage as China’s oldest beer brand, established more than 100 years ago by German and British brewers,” the analysts wrote.
In 2012 the firm recruited top Chinese Olympic athletes as spokespeople, ran a popular online Olympics game and offered fans the chance to win a trip to London.
Cultural marketing remained crucial for the brand, Millward Brown said, with the 22nd Qingdao International Beer Festival in August attracting almost 4m visitors to the brand’s home city.
“Tsingtao also announced a joint venture with Japanese beverage firm Suntory to produce and sell beer in Shanghai and neighboring Jiangsu province,” Millward Brown said, with Shanghai seen as a key market because of its affluent young urban population.
2012 operational improvements included the building of the brand’s 61st production facility in Lushan, Jiangxi, in the southeast, and a fermentation laboratory in Quingdao.
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