After, what in my opinion was, the pilot test of the unfiltered version of světlý, Gambrinus has now presented something almost revolutionary and very innovative, XCLNT. A new product specifically created for young people (I didn't know youngsters spoke all in capital letters and without vowels).
And what kind of young person is the target consumer of XCLNT? Fortunately, we have the answer right in the first paragraph of the press release announcing the launch:
They are 20 y.o. They live for each moment and friends mean everything to them. A bit dreamers, a bit rebels. They don't want to settle. They are independent and crazy. At parties, they are able to let loose and have fun until the morning. Clubs and bars are their second home. They like being the centre of attention, they wear designer shoes and fashion clothes and at the parties you can recognise them by the fluorescent bottlesI've got no idea how much Prazdroj is paying their marketing research agency, but after reading this I can't help but believe they are paying them way too much. Not only they've put in one paragraph all the clichés you can imagine about people in their twenties, but the new product they have for them is just something they can already buy, but in a new bottle, a fluorescent one. Behold.
Let me put this in other words. The most distinctive characteristic of Gambrinus XCLNT is that it comes in a 0.33l bottle with a fluorescent label on the neck. That's it. BRLLNT, isn't it?
Is this the best that the biggest brewer in the country can do to slow down the loss of sales? Do they really believe this product will work when they are taking their target consumers for a bunch of superficial morons?
Wait! I've got absolutely no doubt that there will be many clubs that will sell it. Prazdroj's sales teams have the resources and the muscle to convince many owners. And I can even imagine hostesses in mini-skirts opening bottles. But what will happen once out of the disco? I don't think this example of marketing laziness will be very effective when it comes to reinforce loyalty to the Gambrinus brand.
Fine, I'm already far from my 20's and I can't remember when was the last time I was at a disco. But I still remember how things were back in those days and, if you don't consider the changes in music and fashions, I don't believe they've changed much. Dancing, jumping, moving and, with some luck, other more interesting activities will make you thirsty. At the bar there will be plenty to choose from: cocktails, pre-mixed drinks, juices, alcopops, energy drinks, water and beer. If you fancy a beer, you'll get what they give you, drink it and don't think about it anymore. What you want is to refresh yourself and, in that context, any beer will do. The fluorescent label will be a novelty, yes, and maybe even fun for some time, but all that will last as long as a fart in the wind. Your evening won't be any more or less memorable because of XCLNT, or any other beer. The next day o on Monday, you won't go around telling your mates how cool that bottle was. Nobody is going to pick one disco over another because they have this "new" beer. Nobody is going to run to the shop to unsuccessfully look for it only to settle with a boring bottle of Excelent.
I might be wrong. Perhaps next week I will run into a kid in his twenties who won't stop talking about how awesome this fluorescent bottle was. But for the time being, more than XCLNT, this product seems to me quite STPD.