Founded in 1888 by Otto Bemberg, Quilmes is the most sold beer in Argentina. With about a 75% market share, the brand currently includes several different products with an incredible awareness. It would be very hard for a tourist to visit the country and not try it because of the massive amount of banners almost everywhere and their regular presence in any kind of media.
Quilmes always stood out of the competition in Argentina specially when it stablished itself as the beer of the Argentineans. Carrying the colors of the Argentinean flag, the brand not only depicts the beer of preference of the nation but also transmits the passion of the Argentinean culture through its commercials. Either it is about a FIFA World Cup or simply the summer coming up, Quilmes always pioneered the country’s commercials getting to the essence of what being an Argentine is.
Their relentless motivation to keep finding what drives their targeted segment to consume their products has been key for the company’s advertising campaigns. Sentimentalism has always been a part of their commercials and it has been probably their main focus. Most of their ads are so radically focused in stressing local sentimentalisms that it not be easy for a foreigner to understand them.
Soccer, or better said “fútbol”, was a clear way for Quilmes into the top of the market as a brand. Quilmes has been the official sponsor of the Argentinean Football Association (A.F.A.) for decades. Although the brand is not shown on the team’s jerseys it is probably the most associated brand to the Argentinean soccer glory, again through their commercials.
Something else that stands out of the brand which is actually very common in the region is that they offer 1 liter returnable containers to make their products accessible to everyone but also at the same time showing the cultural factor of sharing drinks and food as a family or group of friends. This enabled Quilmes to be affordable for almost anyone.
Probably one of the most interesting facts of Quilmes is related to the fact that is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Leuven, Belgium based multinational beverage and brewing company, owner of Budweiser and Stella Artois as well, among other world known brands. Anheuser-Busch InBev’s main brand in Brazil, Skol, has almost the exact same marketing strategy as Quilmes in Argentina, which is not entirely rare due to a higher up international marketing strategy of the firm. But since both Skol and Quilmes appeal to the sentimentalism of international soccer, both companies have been contributing to the long lasting competitive spirit between these two countries for years, and of course making profit out of it.
In Argentina, Quilmes’ commercials during any international soccer competition very usually refer to their neighbor Brazilian team as an inferior team that is afraid of them. This is nothing but a clear reflection of their intense rivalry history. But, exactly the opposite thing happens in Brazil, where the Brazilians make constantly fun if the Argentinean team is outperformed either by themselves or by anyone else. Every time they play against each other, even if it is a friendly match, the matches are not as friendly as they probably should. And on the beer company’s end, they each exploit this huge factor in each country specially in these kind of events.
Even if all the Argentineans and Brazilians were aware of this factor, it would not make much of a difference because both Quilmes and Skol are already incredibly settled as king brands in each market, where they both have additional brands to cover the market as much as it possibly is.