Rosie Davenport Red Stripe is the latest lager in the increasingly competitive beer market to get a makeover with Charles Wells ploughing £2.7m into relaunching the brand. As the big players look to gain shelf space and consumer franchise against a backdrop of brand refreshments and additions, the regional brewer hopes its niche offering can tempt buyers to increase listings. The Jamaican beer has been brewed under licence by Charles Wells since 1976 and was distributed by Bulmers until last August when control transferred back to the brewer which has now pledged to "put it back on the map". Charles Wells' marketing manager, Guy Shreeves, said: "Strongbow was the focus at Bulmers and the push behind Red Stripe became less important. It had been commoditised and we want to bring back some quality cues." A national press campaign based on the beer's Jamaican heritage kicks off later this month.It will target 18 to-24 year-old drinkers as well as lapsed consumers who, according to Shreeves, "remember the brand in its 80s heyday but say they haven't seen it around much recently". The ads will be supported by a string of sponsorship deals which fit with the beer's new focus as a brand to "chill out with". A series of surfing events have been signed up and a music tie-up is in the pipeline. Shreeves added: "We're trying to preach a state of mind rather than an actual event." Red Stripe will be competing with the likes of the new premium strength Heineken and market leading Stella Artois in the 5% abv sector. He said: "In the off-trade we're mostly sold through cash and carries and independents, we still need to crack the multiples. This is part of our strategy in the second year and we're working on pack configurations which will better suit them." {{MARKETING }}