Stella Artois Might Be Hiding in a Masterpiece Near You

Brouwer's smokers are endorsing more than ciggies!

Fun fact: Stella Artois has the oldest logo in the world. Its horns reference the Den Hoorn brewery which opened in Leuven, Belgium, in 1366. Sebastian Artois bought and renamed the business in 1708, and "Stella"—Latin for star—was added to the name in 1926, when it released its first seasonal beer, the Christmas Star.

That’s a lot of history. "This means there is a probability that the beer portrayed in historical art pieces throughout Europe could be a Stella Artois," enthuses Haroldo Moreira, copywriter at Buenos Aires-based agency GUT, on LinkedIn.

The agency decided to have some fun with it that titillating possibility.

"We developed an algorithm that analyzed each painting, and, based on variables such as the year when it was painted, geographical location, the type of glass, and the color of the liquid, we cross-referenced that data with the brand's extensive historical records, resulting in a percentage that indicates with a probability the presence of a Stella Artois in those paintings," Moreira writes.

The resulting campaign, created in partnership with the Bellas Artes Museum, and dubbed "The Artois Probability," yielded a series of print ads and outdoor billboards for the time-honored beer.

The creative? Historic art. The copy: Pure data-driven speculation, like a frothy beer mustache. It's easygoing, inspires the imagination, and deepens the brand story. And it's probably one of the funnest uses of algo-magic we've seen in advertising since everybody started freaking out about A.I. We'll never look at a finely painted pub scene the same way again.

"All masterpieces, whether of high or low probability, are now part of our campaign," Moreira goes on. "Hoping that you will think of Stella Artois every time you see a beer in a painting."

See some campaign images below. Click to enlarge:

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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