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New "Beck's Canvas" bottles debut

Published:  30 November, 1999

Beck's is transforming its bottle labels into works of art - with an initiative that gives promising contemporary artists the opportunity to exhibit their work in pubs, bars and off-licences across Britain.

The UK's No 1 imported lager is reinforcing its long-established links with the world of contemporary art with the launch of Beck's Canvas which will see the brand unveil four new bottle labels designed by up-and-coming artists.

The striking new labels will be featured in a TV campaign for Beck's which will run throughout August - boosting consumer awareness during a key trading period for retailers (see page three for full details).

The brand, which has been fostering emerging artistic talent in the UK for more than 20 years, has linked up with the Royal College of Art (RCA) for the new initiative which will raise its retail profile in the months ahead.

A panel of judges from the prestigious College have selected four talented young artists who will have the unique opportunity to showcase their work on the labels of more than 27 million bottles of Beck's (275ml) available to retailers in the on and off-trade from August.

The four successful Beck's Canvas artists are:

Riitta Ikonen, 27, who is studying a two year MA in Communication Art and Design at the Royal College of Arts and graduated last month.

Tom Price, 26, is an alumni of Sculpture (2006) who received a First Class BA (Hons) Sculpture degree from Chelsea College of Art in 2004 and currently works from his Brixton studio.

Simon Cunningham is an alumni of the MA Fine Art, photography course (2007) who lives and works in London.

Charlotte Bracegirdle, 34, is an alumni of the Masters degree in painting (2006). Originally from Devon, Charlotte spent seven years applying to art schools across the UK before accepting a place at the RCA.

Will Morris, Senior Brand Manager for Beck's at InBev UK, says: "This initiative gives emerging artists the opportunity to express themselves on a truly unique canvas - the Beck's bottle label.

"Beck's Canvas marks an evolution of our ongoing support for creative and talented individuals and our vision to bring inspiring and challenging artwork to a broader public.

"The introduction of new bottle labels will also have significant benefits for retailers. The four new designs will stimulate the interest of pub-goers and shoppers and attract new consumers to the brand in the months ahead."

Beck's has backed outstanding artistic talent since 1985 through Beck's Fusions, the Beck's Futures Award and sponsorships of notable contemporary artists including Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, the Chapman Brothers and Gilbert & George.

Morris says: "The brand is intrinsically linked with the world of art following more than 20 years of support and Beck's Canvas takes that association on to the next level. It will provide emerging artists with a rare opportunity to place their own work in the hands of the public."

InBev UK will be supporting Beck's Canvas with point-of-connection material available to pubs and bars to communicate the art-linked initiative to consumers as well as a dedicated website -

Advertising push

The new labels will be seen by millions as part of a summer TV advertising push for Beck's running throughout August which will communicate the "Different by Choice" message. The commercial focuses on objects, places & individuals which have achieved success by setting their own rules and bucking convention.

The four bottles are featured in a new vignette that has been added to the commercial - and are pictured displayed on an art gallery-style plinth with the line: "The Artists who said No to Canvas". The commercial ends with a close-up of the famous Beck's logo.

Morris adds: "The campaign vividly illustrates that Beck's is different by choice. The updated ads should act as the start point on a discovery trail' - building intrigue and interest for the viewer - which will be rewarded when they see the bottle in a pub, bar or off-licence or experience the campaign on-line."