CategoryH01. Integrated Multi-Platform Campaign (Online & Offline)
EntrantVIRTUE Singapore, SINGAPORE
Idea Creation VIRTUE Singapore, SINGAPORE


Name Company Position
Rich Lim Virtue Creative Strategist
Rich Lim Virtue Creative Strategist
Robert Joe Virtue Lead Producer
Alex Koo Virtue Creative Director
Elaine Shin Virtue Project Manager
Jinhee Choi Virtue Digital Manager
Jinhoon Chung Virtue Digital Manager
Hyojung Choi Virtue Senior Art Director
Sidhant Gandhi Virtue Head of Design


Born in the US, Budweiser has always stood for freedom. With its bold character and style, it embraces an attitude of living on your own terms. Globally, ‘Be A King’ celebrates the bold ambition to seize the opportunity to shine. We wanted to stay true to the brand’s values and bring this to life within a traditionally conservative culture. For young Koreans, their time to shine means being bold enough to embrace their freedom of self-expression in the face of societal judgment.

Describe the creative idea

With its artists forced underground, and those with ink on their skin often pressured to cover up, we hope to shift mainstream attitudes by exploring the contribution these artists are making to Korean culture and identity and encourage our own audience to be free to be bold. To do this, we created a campaign to celebrate tattoos as an art-form and cause a shift in the mainstream perspective. We wanted to elevate art and cultural growth in Korea by inspiring audiences to join a movement - empower artists to reach the next level and break the barriers of social prejudice. We want to celebrate those who despite the stigma are not afraid to be different and choose to express themselves confidently.

Describe the strategy

Korea was already an interesting story on the global stage as the emerging tattoo culture has given rise to a generation of tattoo artists earning global followings on social media yet having to live in a society where their work is illegal. Antiquated local laws and prevailing stereotypes force the artists and culture underground. Within the last few years, tattoos have begun to transcend style and image, as personal expressions of identity and culture here. With an estimated 20,000 tattoo artists and over a million people with tattoos, young Koreans have already embraced tattoos as a sign of freedom. We saw the opportunity to incite a bigger cultural shift within the mainstream by elevating the sub-culture. The campaign established Budweiser as the very first brand in Korea to publicly recognize tattooists as artists, support tattoos as a respectable art-form, and celebrate those who are not afraid to express themselves.

Describe the execution

Spearheaded by a stylized hero video, the campaign unfolds with young local personalities boldly expressing themselves through tattoos. We then introduced social experiment content, featuring K-pop star Hyolyn, who proudly shows a meaningful tattoo covering a surgical scar, to further provoke awareness. The campaign culminated with the release of a limited edition Budweiser can, featuring the artwork of emerging artist Nawoo Kim. She featured in the hero video “How Bold Are You”, directed by Korea’s Kim Gun. With an experimental mise-en-scene, Gun captures a street-level look at Seoul setting the stage for the energy and optimism of youth in the face of social stigma. The limited-edition can was released with the opening of an exhibition titled ‘Tattoo: Bold Take on Freedom and Art’ displaying the art-form of tattoo in various mediums. A hero installation by Korea’s most renowned tattooist, Apro Lee, made this a truly unique exhibition in Korea.

List the results

Since launch, the campaign has gained over 9.5m views, reaching 55% of the 19-39 year old population in digital alone with 25% VTR. In total, we welcomed over 2,300 visitors to the week-long exhibition. 'Be A King' was also the winner of Facebook’s 2019 best example of leveraging an Instagram community to build a brand. The feedback from the tattoo community was overwhelmingly positive – with tattoo artists acknowledging the exhibition and campaign as a cultural milestone in their community.

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