Duvel - Launching Duvel 666 | Effie case 2022

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Duvel - Launching Duvel 666

Launching Duvel 666


Duvel - Satisfaction
+ OMcollective, Space & InSites Consulting

Succesvolle introductie

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Duvel - Launching Duvel 666

Launching Duvel 666


Duvel - Satisfaction
+ OMcollective, Space & InSites Consulting

Succesvolle introductie

1. Marketsituation

In the market of Belgian beers, Duvel is a well-known brand backed with a heritage of almost 90 years1, with awareness upwards of 80% amongst consumers. The 'original' strong blonde. With a very high physical and emotional availability amongst consumers, it has its challenges too: its purchasing frequency and past 4-week consumption levels are saturated. Research revealed a gap between knowing about, and deciding to drink, Duvel. Duvel lacked lightness, freshness, and trendiness. Its high alcohol percentage (8,5%) skewed Duvel consumption towards older consumers and beer 'connoisseurs'.

Duvel's market position was under heavy attack from all kinds of competitors. The premium specialty beer segment has grown in the last couple of years, consumer behaviors and spending shifting; creating a strong profit pool for retailers & producers. Abinbev, under pressure in the pilsner market, moved upwards creating more focus on competing brands like Leffe, Tripel Karmeliet, and Victoria (launched in 2020). Also, Omer, Cornet, and Hapkin have been eating Duvel's lunch recently.

Knowing market pressure from competitors would only increase, Duvel wanted to install a new line of defense against competition and open a long-term path for growth. Installing a new sub brand pillar was the first important stepstone, to rejuvenate Duvel's image and consumption patterns, without alienating its core fan base.

Duvel 6,66% was created as the answer.

1 Duvel Moortgat since 1871, Duvel since 1932.

2. Objectives

We wanted to use the Duvel 6.66% campaigns to:

  • Increase Duvel's brand awareness by 20% in 2021 compared to the previous year. For this, we targeted bon-vivants between the ages of 18 and 54 who have a certain affinity with beer.
  • The target group would consist of around 2,6 million people, of which we wanted to reach at least 70%.
  • We wanted to use the campaigns to bring an increase of +6% revenue on top of revenue growth of the rest of the strong Duvel portfolio.
  • Avoid disproportional cannibalization (>40%) of the core range.

3. Strategy

The high alcohol content, an old-fashioned image, and the heavy taste of the 8,5% alc. Duvel, were the key reasons new consumers did not drink it: it was clear Duvel needed more accessibility. Duvel Moortgat ran live market testing in 2020 of a lighter cobrew variant (a soft blond IPA, of 6% alc.) within Belgium. The beer sold out in weeks!

Hence, Duvel 6,66% was created.
So… New product - New name - New branding - New launch

4. Communication & creatives

We needed to convince the target audience that there were no more excuses not to have a Duvel. In fact, every reason is a good reason to have a Duvel 6,66%! The 'What's your good reason?' tagline calls them to action with an irreverent tone of voice. The '666 good reasons' message (it's new, it's fresh, it's cool, it's 11pm in Sydney, it's raining…) added accessibility, modernity, open mindedness.

Every good reason to have a Duvel 6,66% was illustrated in a video centric campaign, with multiple scenes of 666 drinkers, in exaggerated yellow tones. Dramatic prints and OOH, video capsules for online media, trade, retail, and even merchandising creations, to reach everyone in a time of on & off Covid lockdowns.

The online media marketing strategy was to create brand awareness and reach a significant group of relevant people of 'bon-vivants with an affinity for beer'. Focus on the first 3 phases of the customer journey: ‘see', ‘think' & ‘do'. Pushing from awareness building, to consideration, to purchase with an implemented multichannel campaign & a capture/ride/steer framework.

Figure: Focus on the first 3 phases of the customer journey: ‘see', ‘think' & ‘do'.

  • Wave 1
    Capture existing demand & purchase intention, with parallel, always-on Google Search text ads and partner ads (Delhaize).
    Steering the market with push advertisements on FB, IG, and YT.
  • Waves 2 & 3
    Focus on the ‘think' phase, and reach additional potential consumers within the target group, who were not reached in the 1st wave.
    Lifestyle videos with recognizable, playful reasons to drink a Duvel 6.66%
    (‘I forgot my password', ‘There is no Wi-Fi'…) were used.

In parallel previously engaged people were retargeted: shown product videos to recall the benefits of Duvel 6.66% and push them deeper towards the activation phase.

5. Results


The social media campaigns eventually reached 2.384.867 people - (91% of the intended target group).

YouTube: estimated target audience of about 800.000 users, from 18- to 54-year-olds. With a total of 586.894 views, we achieved a viewing rate of 19,95%. One in five YouTube users actually watched the videos.

Facebook: almost 56.000 people went through the full flow of teaser, reveal & spotlight videos, resulting in an exceptionally high interaction rate of 1,18% (vs. 0,13% average for alcohol marketing).

Duvel's brand awareness
The average number of searches for ‘Duvel' went from 15.700 in 2020 to over 21.100 in 2021 - an increase of 26%.

Figure: The average number of searches for Duvel in Google went from 15.700 in 2020 to over 21.100 in 2021

If including searches for 'Duvel 666', the average hits more than 26.000 searches per month, an increase of 40%.

Figure: If including searches for Duvel 666 in Google, the average hits more than 26.000 searches per month


The total aided awareness of the 666 within the Belgian beer drinking population reached 23% (coming from 0% a few months earlier). This result surpasses Duvel Tripel Hop Citra's numbers, which has been available for 4 years on the market.

Duvel 6,66% also generated a lot of tastings: no less than 6% of the Belgian population has tasted it within the first months of its launch. 5% of beer drinkers already claimed their loyalty to the brand, drinking it frequently. The TOP drivers to try the brand were qualified as 'lighter than the classic Duvel' (39%), 'fresh' (38%) and 'young & contemporary' (31%) confirming Duvel's ambitions and strategies.

Compared to the Duvel 8,5% consumers, the largest consumer segment of the 6,66% is 20 years younger: 35-44-year-olds (vs 55-64-year-olds for Duvel 8,5%). Duvel 6,66% got gold in the renowned International Beer Challenge in the UK and at Le Concours International de Lyon in France in the category ‘Haute Fermentation/Blond'. According to Nielsen, Duvel 6,66% was one of the best innovations of 2021.

According to Nielsen, Duvel 6,66% was one of the best innovations of 202

TURNOVER (in part based on results from one of our biggest retailers):

Duvel 6,66% vs benchmark: Key kpi's on first 20 weeks after launch

  • Cumulative sales on first 20 weeks Duvel 6,66 exceed other recent beer launches: 73% above average
  • Cumulative units sold exceed all benchmark items

Impact on Duvel

  • 80% of Duvel 6,66% turnover is incremental for Duvel: 59% from new or recovered buyers and 21% from existing Duvel-shoppers buying Duvel 6,66% on top


To us, there is no denying that the Duvel 6,66% experienced an incredibly successful introduction! Truly great, and complete, teamwork led to this: with cohesive objectives across the brand, the creative and the media implementations, and every one's belief in our product, message and visual identity.

The excitement for Duvel's 6,66%, and this new forage into a younger market, is palpable across Belgium!

Duvel Moortgat
Andy Van Hassel

Duvel - Andy Van HasselAs Global Marketing Director at Duvel Moortgat, Andy is very passionate about people, branding, and marketing. With a focus on creativity, emotion, and efficiency he works together with his great team of intrapreneurs in building the strong brands Duvel, Chouffe, Vedett, Liefmans, Maredsous & De Koninck on a national as well as international scale. He started on the Vedett brand in 2006 and experienced the growth of the company from a Belgian scope towards an international one, growing into different marketing positions over time. He started his career in the advertising industry on the commercial account side, working for 7 years in some of the top leading international advertising agencies on different A-brands. Mens sana in corpore sano, this is what he puts into practices at 5 AM in his CrossFit gym as well as on the hockey field as a coach on the weekends.

John Israel

Satisfaction - John IsraelJohn grew up in the fields of fashion, art, advertising, & music. He began his career as a music artist, and in parallel evolved in the marketing & advertising worlds. He is the founder & creative director of Satisfaction, a creative advertising agency in Brussels. He's also the founder of Volga beer, & a film director for well-known production companies like Caviar and Zauberberg. His key strengths are a "creative mind" and a Global Brand making expertise, with significant results in the ready to wear, fashion, digital, telecom, beverage and music, industries. Having built brand platforms for Lee Jeans (EMEA/AP), Eastpak (EMEA), Duvel (WW), Cointreau (WW), Provamel (Danone), Metaxa (WW), Bridgestone (EMEA), Volga Beer, & Zuny Telecom (BE).