Asahi Kaizen Bottle

Asahi UK is mounting its “biggest ever” marketing push to promote recently-relaunched Japanese lager Asahi Super Dry, after the brew disappeared from the shelves of Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons earlier this year. 

It will see ads roll out over more than 600 sites across London this month, backed by a “heavyweight” national social media campaign, with an eye to “creating significant impact for the newly re-launched brand”, said Asahi.

The brand has also partnered with Secret Cinema to sponsor a series of screenings of Blade Runner - The Final Cut across the capital until the end of June. Asahi said the sci-fi flick “aligned perfectly with the values of Asahi Super Dry as a progressively minded brand.”

It has also landed the role of ‘Lead Beer’ at VR show Somnai, partnered with Arcadia Festival for its 10th anniversary celebrations, and tied up with Somerset House for its summer film series and Film 4 Summer Screen throughout July and August.

Asahi wanted to “ensure its marketing would reflect the identity of the brand and put us at the heart of forward-thinking experiences with a mix of Japanese culture”, said its director of brand marketing Laura Mitchell.

“We strongly believe the ‘Karakuchi’ taste of Asahi Super Dry will make a huge impact, but it is equally important we pay homage to the brand’s heritage and we are very excited to launch into the marketplace with a number of intriguing activations.”

Pricing dispute

Asahi Super Dry was relaunched in January, when Asahi UK brought its brewing back in-house from Kent brewer Shepherd Neame, which had contract brewed it until then.

It is now being brewed at the Peroni brewery in Italy, to the original Japanese recipe, and has moved from 660ml to 620ml bottles.

The relaunch did not go completely as planned, with Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons dropping the beer amid claims Asahi had tried to push through significant cost hikes for the new product.

However, it has won listings in Waitrose and Ocado, and Tesco has since reintroduced the beer as part of its latest BWS range review.

A spokeswoman stressed it was “very early days for the brand and we are very much in discussions with the supermarkets about how best we can relaunch the brand in-line with its new category position”.