The south Bohemian brewer Budvar have been enjoying some success with a series of television advertisements starring characters Bob and Dave, two Englishmen who see the magical side of the Czech Republic after trying the famous Czech pivo. The adverts feature many aspects of Czech culture that are easy for foreigners to identify with, and which Czechs themselves are proud of: supermodels, football, ice hockey, dumplings, and - of course - beer.
The Bob and Dave ads began last autumn and have been shown around the world. Budvar are very satisfied with the campaign's impact: they say spontaneous recognition of the ads has risen from around 40 to 70 percent, and recognition of the Budvar brand itself is up to 80 percent, which is about the same as Pilsner Urquell.
Budvar have really been pushing the Bob and Dave characters, who have their own "Bud Boys" website, complete with "back story" about the two Londoners having founded a Czech-British Appreciation Society after falling in love with the beer. All made up of course, but part of the fun.
The ad campaign's appeal to Czech national pride is not without precedent. Pilsner Urquell have run ads reflecting Czech history, such as the building - and rebuilding - of the National Theatre and Laurin and Klement, pioneers of the motor industry in Czechoslovakia.
But the Budvar Bob and Dave ads are taking a very different approach, with their emphasis on beer, babes, sport, and the pleasures of being a foreigner in the Czech Republic.
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