An Evolution That’s
Old-School Beer, New Tricks
It’s a fact: frat guys like beer. Another fact: frat guys love cheap beer. On campuses across the US, there’s a notoriously inexpensive brew everyone knows: Natural Light—“Natty Light” if you’re not a dork. But to stay stocked in students’ fridges, the brand needed to modernize—coming off fresh, but still old-school.
Instantly reversed numbers for first positive sales month since 2010.
Received the 2017 GDUSA American Package Design Award.
Cheers to a Legacy
Natty has a lot to hang its hat on: cheap, quality beer with an ownable identity and a nickname most everyone knows. The brand has undergone six redesigns in its 40-year lifespan, but none so dramatic as its 2016 revamp, strategically launched at the start of the fall semester. To evolve it, we optimized those equitable assets, then filled in holes. But one thing was still missing: a clear brand narrative. We crafted one that draws on legacy and tradition, framing Natty as the beer with a story: the one for your glory days.
Visually, it manifested with a modernized palette and clean (yet preppy) red striping on pack. To appeal to US distributors—who, more than ever, have a penchant for beer produced on their home turf—we majored in Americana, amplifying elements like the famous “A & Eagle” graphic. We also re-examined on-pack messaging, replacing the decades-old tagline of “all-natural” with a descriptor focused on heritage: “Brewed in America since 1977.”
We evolved Natty to stay competitive in the mass-market space—and to mingle with cans and bottles in the microbrew boom.