Carling Black Label Be The Coach Case Study

Carling Black Label ‘Be the Coach’ case study

A quick snapshot of the Carling Black Label ‘Be the Coach’ case study presented by Lynne Gordon (@lynne_gordon), General Manager – Brandtone South Africa, at Mobile Entertainment Africa. Download the PDF version of the full presentation here (1.6MB)!

South Africans are crazy about soccer – 63% are avid soccer fans, and 80% of these are fanatics, spending time weekly supporting their teams.

Every man believes that he can do a better job than the coach. Shouting from the stands or from his couch, his voice goes unheard.

Carling Black Label allows every fan to “Be the coach.”

The challenge: How to we make it possible for every Champion man to coach their team? Mobile is everywhere 27 million South African adults own a mobile phone!

Dial *120*764*code# to be the coach Entry linked to codes on pack ensures a direct link to purchase of the Champion Beer to make your vote.

Vote for your players A simple USSD menu captures one vote for every code entered as you coach your favourite team.

For the first time – YOU can be the coach! Teams chosen BY THE FANS are selected and reported weekly.

Massive awareness via an integrated ATL media plan TV, print and radio brought the message of “be the coach” to consumers.

Soccer Zone and Daily Sun covered the progress of the team selection.

The campaign captured the imagination of the media. R80milllion of PR coverage brought news of selections to the fans.

Consumers entered on average 18 times to have their say on the game!

Your team takes the field at Soccer City. The event is attended by over 90,000 fans, and viewed by millions more live on SABC1.

The results: Over 20 million mobile engagements from over a million Champion men. 82% of engagements came from a new demographic for Carling. Carling increased brand share in a competitive & increasingly fragmented market

Download the PDF version of the full presentation here (1.6MB)!

Carling Black Label, the lager brand, added new meaning to naming rights with the Carling Black Label Cup “Be The Coach” campaign run in South Africa in 2011, winning advertising awards for integration at the Clio Awards, One Show Interactive Awards, Virgin Active Sports Industry Awards, and the GSMA Global Mobile Marketing Awards. Football supporters in South Africa were invited to name the players for the cup final on the 30th July 2011, between the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, and then follow up with choices for live substitution. Dutch football coach Ruud Gullit was brought in to garner support for the campaign. To pick the squad all users had to do was buy a Black Label lager and follow the instructions using USSD (unstructured supplementary service data), IVR (interactive voice recording) and SMS on their phones to vote for the team members and positions.

10.5 million votes for team selections were cast via USSD codes found under bottle caps on CBL beers in the seven weeks leading up to the game. Metrics on social media and online platforms showed triple digit growth. 85,000 fans attended the sell-out game and millions more watched on television and saw Orlando Pirates win it on penalties.

Click on the image below to play the Ogilvy Cape Town Case Study video in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the Be The Coach video in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the Live Substitution video in YouTube

The Carling Black Label “Be the Coach” campaign was centred online at, a Facebook page and mobile site,, providing consumers with news on teams and updates on votes.


The Be The Coach campaign was developed at Ogilvy South Africa, Cape Town, by executive creative director Chris Gotz, creative director/art director Jonathan Lang, creative director/copywriter Tommy Le Roux, copywriters Yazeed Solomons and Logan Broadley, art directors Benjamin de Villiers and Delano Chengan, digital creative director Nicholas Wittenberg, agency producer Bronwyn Henry.

Mobile technology was produced at Brandtone.

Filming was shot by director Ian Chuter via Platypus Productions.

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