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CKSK Creates New Search Engine for Beer Brand Sol

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Sol_Search_1-2Digital agency CKSK has created a novel new campaign on behalf of its client Sol, the Heineken-owned beer brand, by developing a new search engine called Sol Search.

As part of a wider campaign to promote the brand’s “espiritu libre” (free spirit), CKSK reimagines the search engine by allowing consumers to discover “a world beyond the mainstream.”

According to CKSK’s head of strategy Graham Nolan, “with Google owning 85% of the search market, the answers delivered to consumers are the most popular but not necessarily the most independent or interesting. Searching for pizza on a mainstream search engine will likely offer Dominos and Pizza Hut, but try the same search on Sol Search and you’ll discover a whole world of independent pizza places, started by independent entrepreneurs with great stories to tell.”

The free, minimally-branded service operates on a global scale whilst resonating within each individual local market, according to Nolan. Already live in London, Sao Paul, Athens and Thessaloniki, he says it will soon launch in launch in Riviera Maya and the brand’s native Mexico City, before rolling out across a further ten global markets by the end of 2015.

“Having studied the online behaviour of older beer consumers, we identified that it’s incredibly easy to be pulled into mainstream behaviour on digital channels. Google gives you popular, mainstream search answers, whilst Facebook gives you the same mainstream content from global brands. Online, we’re all morphing into the same homogeneous person who clicks on the same content and retweets the same tweets. Discovering cool, unconventional and independent bars, restaurants and cafes online is hard, so too is being who you really are, and that’s why we created Sol Search,” says Nolan.

Sol began its life in 1899, born out of revolution during the struggle for Mexican independence. Today, the brand still aims to stand for the ideals that it was built upon; independence, freedom and rebellion. As Sol’s Digital Agency, CKSK was asked to imagine how a digital-first strategy could re-establish the brand globally and land the idea of independence.

Heineken Global acquired the Sol beer brand in 2011, and is repositioning it as a premium beer brand. The aim is to differentiate Sol in the Mexican beer category by making it aspirational to consumers who are attracted to the ideas of freedom and independence.

“Our goal is to get 35-year-old beer consumers to consider Sol as a premium beer brand. Our consumer wants to be independent but, when you’re 35 with a job, children and mortgage, it’s difficult. Sol Search allows these guys to keep the flame of independence alive by discovering cool places online that might just encourage them to visit in the real world,” says Nolan.