‘Tis the Season

Budweiser teamed up with locals artists to create MLB custom designed cans per team and its awesome! Budweiser has done similar things to keep their consumers loyal and attract new ones, such as the America cans launched last summer, but this definitely more of a commitment as far as production.

 

Budlight partnered with the NFL to slightly customize their bottles that reference certain NFL teams, another great example of understanding your market and who is drinking your product.

Budweiser has been really successful in advertising to their consumer. Their 2015 Superbowl commercial “Brewed the hard way” made statements like “proud marco beer”, “not brewed to be fussed over”, “the people who drink our beer are people who like to drink beer”.

 

New Zealand brewery turns bottles into sand

“Two thirds of the world’s beaches are retreating as people across the world use non-renewable beach sand for construction, roading and other uses,” Simon Smith, brand PR and digital manager for DB Breweries, told Digital Trends. “We had some [conversations] over beers, and came up with an idea to crush glass bottles into a sand substitute that can be used in things such as construction, roading, even golf bunkers; meaning that we can keep our beautiful beach sand where it belongs: on our beaches.”
DB Breweries has built several machines able to take empty bottles and turn them into substitute sand. All a drinker needs to do is deposit his or her bottle in the machine, which then uses miniature steel hammers to crush it into 200 grams of sand in only five seconds — after extracting the plastic labels with a vacuum system.

The ultimate goal is to provide a way of prompting people to recycle by giving them an image of what exactly it means to do so, rather than leaving it as an abstraction. “Our ambition for the campaign is for people to have something tangible to think about, such as the love of our beautiful beaches, as a reminder to recycle”

Source: Digital Trends

Why it’s Hot

Back to beer coverage, hooray! Also, I posed recently about a grocery brand using its own waste to power its trucks, and I think this is another example of brand innovating to reduce their footprint.

As if though we need one more excuse to drink…

While the world collapses around us here in the States, New Zealanders are kicking back, enjoying life, and catching some surf. Right? Wrong. They are dealing with their own set of problems too. A sand drought (gasp!). Apparently, those pesky grains you keep finding in random body parts days after going to the beach are used in everything from construction to pharmaceuticals (weird). The demand is such that two-thirds of the world’s beaches are retreating.

DB Export, a Kiwi Brewery, took note of this, and the fact that one-fourth of beer bottles never make it to recycling centers and instead end up in landfills. The result? They rolled up their social-responsibility-sleeves and said “We got this”.  The brand developed a fleet of Beer Bottle Sand Machines that lets drinkers instantly turn their beer bottles into 200 grams of sand substitute in just 5 seconds, which will later be donated to one of New Zealand’s biggest producers of bagged concrete.

And how valuable is doing something good, if no one sees it, right? Which is why drinkers can also document and share the footage of their environmentally-friendly activity thanks to an in-built web camera.

It’s rare when a brand can triangulate efforts that solve an environmental challenge by increasing their product’s consumption. It’s even rarer to have it be done through such an out-of-the-box-use of tech.

Now, if we could only develop tech that puts Donald Trump to sleep for an hour for every beer bottle that is drunk…Something to work towards, People!

Why It’s Hot

  • It’s SO smart to line up brand engagement and consumption with a noteworthy social cause
  • DB Export was able to connect seemingly unrelated topics (sand drought and beers) to solve a brand and a social challenge
  • Activation enables consumers to feel good, and do good, just by drinking a cold one

 

 

Better Brews Come Delivered By Data Analytics

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Using sophisticated data science, IBM and Havas helia created a beer that tastes of joy and optimism. How you may ask? They used a tool called Watson Personality Insights, which analyzes language to produce a personality profile. The technology uses linguistic analysis to find meaning words. In linguistics, semantic analysis is the process of taking syntactic structures and relating them to each other.

First, the team observed the sentiment and the emotions found in the social media shared on and around New Year’s eve by running a data set of New Year’s related messages and shares on social media and matched them with a wide range of emotional states. The partners leveraged this powerful tool to extract cognitive and social characteristics from input text such as email, SMS, tweets, forum posts, and more. Through their analysis, the team found that the top most shared emotions were love, joy, harmony, cheerfulness, optimism, resolution and excitement.

With this profile the team worked together to capture the mood of the nation during the New Year party season to create the world’s first beer crafted and based on human emotions.

It then takes that profile and can categorise each beer according to different human adjectives, such as “assertive,” “friendly” or “intelligent.” Then the IBM Watson team began to analyse 2,800 different beer recipes while giving the computer descriptions about the ingredients, recipes, tasting notes and beer reviews. This method helped to identify the perfect recipe.

The top 10 beers that matched the most shared New Year emotions found in the data were then identified and, through further analysis, all of these beer recipes were combined to find the most common ingredients.

Honey, the Nelson Sauvin hop variety and the Hallertauer hop emerged as the top three most common ingredients among the beers.

  • Honey denotes love and cheerfulness
  • Nelson Sauvin is for optimism, imagination and resolution
  • Hallertauer is for excitement and emotion

Each of these ingredients was used to create flagship data-powered New Year beer: 0101. For the complicated project—the team picked High Peak Brew Co, an independent microbrewery based in the UK’s Peak District, to head up the brewing project. They tapped this particular brewery because the company’s brews are unfined and unfiltered, like the content of the social activity they tested. They worked with them to get an exact taste that would match the data as closely as possible.

Helia works with data to uncover patterns in human behavior, mixing that with cultural understanding to inspire more creative ideas. Why does this matter? The service helps users to understand, connect to, and communicate with other people on a more personalized level. With this powerful tool we can derive consumers’ cognitive and social preferences just with the language they use. The service applies linguistic analytics and personality theory to infer attributes from a person’s unstructured text.

Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot

It’s a data-driven world. But it’s an emotional, unpredictable word too. I appreciate the effort to bring the two together with this experiment. And of course, there’s the beer aspect.

Through tools like this we can gain insight into how and why people think, act, and feel the way they do. This means companies and coders can use data and technology to interpret something abstract such as positive feelings and emotions and turn them into an experience to build upon.

 

 

This app is like Shazam for your beer

So many beers, so little time.

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With so many options between the hoppy, the fruity, the wheats, the stouts, the ales, the seasonal pumpkin brews and splices you’ve never dreamed of, your next mystery bottle could either be sinfully good or horribly awry. Don’t you wish someone had told you before you opened it?

It’s about time there’s an app for that.

Letsee Beer, created by Korean startup Letsee for iOS and Android, uses your smartphone camera to scan the labels and shapes of beer bottles and cans (no draught, though). It brings up the beer’s basic info, plus hashtagged descriptions ranging from #fruity to #damntasty and reviews that other users have left to help you determine whether the brew is worth a try.

The creators hope to do more than build a user-generated database to help beer fans know what they’re drinking before they open the bottle. They’re also utilizing augmented reality technology to bridge the virtual and physical worlds and to nurture a social media network that shows the app’s impact with real users.

“By using the more intuitive AR interface, the users will be able to focus on the user-created content itself instead of getting distracted by cumbersome app interfaces,” Ahn Sangchul, founder and CEO of Letsee, tells Tech in Asia. “People may enjoy sharing their drinking experiences with others using our service, and we hope to encourage them to love beer even more.”

 

Source: Mashable

Why It’s Hot

There are many apps for many things, but the incoming element of VR is appealing. It can be used to help connect the physical to the online world — and there are definitely implications that go way beyond beer.

We Could All Do With a Pint Glass That is Always Half Full

BUCK_Hoptimist_Virgin_Trains_02-962x644Virgin Trains will be serving its custom beers on a glass that will always be half full called the “Hoptimist.” Although a glass that’s never empty sounds like a cheap magic trick prop, the beer buddy they’ve created looks very sophisticated.

The hand-blown glass is a tall one but the base takes up a little less than half the entire thing. This is the “half full” part. The glass is always half full because half of it is actually glass. Get it? Although not the approach one might expect upon hearing “always half full,” design wise, it’s very beautiful. The beer receptacle on top follows a wine glass shape with a slight dip at the center.

Pour some beer into the Hoptimist and you have a nice, solid-feel cup. Even if you chug the beer down, the weight of the glass itself will never feel empty. Because the base is raised, the way it balances on the table will also feel like a half-full cup.

The ale that will pair up with the Hoptimist is also one-of-a-kind. Hop On Board, Virgin Train’s own brew, was created by Rudgate Brewery, a multi-awarded microbrewery in York. The glass and ale will be available for customers traveling on Virgin Trains routes between London King’s Cross, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

Virgin expects to sell 55,000 bottles of its pale ale this year. To celebrate the new addition to the train menus, they will be giving out a few Hoptimist pint glasses through social media in the next few days.

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Alison Watson, Director of Customer Experience at Virgin Trains, said:

‘We’re ‘hoptimistic’ here at Virgin Trains and passionate about our customer’s experience. ‘Hop on Board’ is an exciting step in revamping our on-board offering, embracing the craft beer revolution and delivering the best journey possible time and time again.

Working alongside the Rudgate Brewery, we have created an ale full of flavor and charisma that epitomizes the Virgin Trains’ spirit and the hoptimist’s outlook on life—with us the glass is always half full.

Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot: CX first. I love the angle of optimism — it’s refreshing. It’s also a great differentiator.

The Wheaties Brand Extension Into Beer is Genius

The General Mills cereal brand Wheaties has made a supremely awesome move to get back into customer favor: extending the brand to beer. Partnering with the Minnesota-based microbrewery Fulton, “HefeWheaties” is a hefeweizen-style ale that will be marketed in 16-oz “tallboy” cans.

hefewheaties-hed-2015

Why Minnesota? Well, cereal and brewery are rooted in the Twin City. And as the story goes, the collaboration was borne out of a General Mills employee just having a close connection at Fulton.

For now the beer will only be available in Minnesota, but General Mills is not treating this like a stunt. If response is strong, the company may consider doing the beer in a bigger distribution.

Why It’s Hot

Beer is always a good way to grab people’s attention. And let’s face it, Wheaties hasn’t exactly been a cereal brand at the top of everyone’s minds these days. HefeWheaties was a smart, interesting way to get attention back to this legacy brand in and exciting fashion that brings interest by particularly younger audiences. And General Mills treating this as more than just a one-off shows the company is committed to smart business, not just PR.

via AdWeek

Yoga and Beer… A Relaxing Combination!

Recently, Lulelemon launched its new line of athletic wear to cater to men. However, they threw in an usual product to entice men to shop there!

Through trial and error, Lululemon was struggling to expand its company into the menswear sector. Therefore, after much consideration and thought, Lululemon developed its own craft beer this summer to draw in male customers.

However, some of Lululemon’s female customers are upset over this move considering that the company is taking some attention off of them and putting it onto the males. One female customer states on social media, “Not for nothing, but ladies drink beer too, FYI. But maybe they’re not the right size/prototype/muse for this special man brew?”.

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Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/lululemon-beer-2015-7#ixzz3goJnB2c2

Why It’s Hot

This move was certainly an interesting move for Lululemon but this strategy is helping the company drive buzz and spark many audiences attention. Well played, Lululemon.

Edible Billboards: Why not have billboards with built-in samples?

At the NCAA men’s Final Four in Indianapolis, Coke Zero built a 4,500-foot straw that dispensed Coke Zero from a billboard. The straw spelled out the words “Taste It,” and had six fountains that dispensed the soda (watch video here).

In East London, Carlsberg beer created a similar experience with a beer-dispensing billboard.

And Mr. Kipling, a large-scale British company that supplies baked goods to stores, built a billboard made entirely of cake and icing. Sugar artist Michelle Wibowo created the billboard using more than 13,000 pieces of cake. The cake, with the tagline “Life is better with cake,” was distributed to passersby (watch video here).

Read more here (Edible billboards are a real thing, and these are made of beer and cake).

Why It’s HOT

The problem with food ads is that you can only see the product, but you can’t smell or taste it. Here is a great example of how an old medium can be used in new ways – creating disruption and driving conversation.

Missed opportunity: social amplification.  In 2011, a German billboard dispenses dog food when you checked in on Foursquare– Read more here (video case study available).

 

 

 

Carlsberg Billboard Doubles as Self-Service Beer Tap

Last week, Gary posted about a billboard that pours Coke Zero. Is this a new trend?

Carlsberg has made what they claim is “Probably the Best Poster in the World” by turning it into a working beer tap.

Revealed in London last week at the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, it enabled passersby to enjoy a cold drink of Carlsberg for free.

The 12 x 3 meter interactive billboard commissioned by the brand was created by advertising agency Fold7 and digital design firm Mission Media. It featured a version of the brand’s slogan in white on a green background, with an embedded beer tap in the center allowing members of the public to pour themselves half a pint.

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Carlsberg staff were on hand throughout the day to monitor events, safeguard under-18s (the legal drinking age in the U.K.), and make sure consumers were drinking responsibly.

Earlier this year, Carlsberg revived its ‘If Carlsberg did’ campaign, which the brand dropped in 2011 after almost forty years.

Why It’s Hot:

I thought this was interesting, but not perfectly executed. As we saw with the Coke example, interactivity and product sampling can work well for brands. However, it seems like there was a missed opportunity to integrate social and mobile (though the stunt probably went viral on it’s own) with # calls to action, posting photos, etc.

 

Bud Light Partners with Tinder to Promote Whatever, USA

Bud Light is transforming another town into Whatever, USA, and this year, the brand is choosing the next set of random beer drinkers to inhabit its party town like many millennials choose their next date—on Tinder.

Users of the dating app who are 21 and older can match with Bud Light for a chance to win a weekend trip to the next Whatever, USA. “There’s a lot of synergies between the Tinder audience and the audience we’re looking for,” said Hugh Cullman, director of marketing for Bud Light.

Bud Light will select about 1,000 beer drinkers—fans can enter the contest on Tinder, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram—to attend this year’s celebration, which is slated for the last weekend of May. The exact location of Whatever, USA has not yet been determined, though Bud Light has whittled the possibilities down to five finalists.

Why It’s Hot

The partnership between Bud Light and Tinder marks the first time the dating app has used native video. The two brands worked together for six months to create spots designed specifically for Tinder’s platform. By using Tinder, which has 26 million matches a day worldwide, Bud Light can connect with millennials spontaneously, which embodies the spirit of the #UpForWhatever campaign.

A-B InBev Tricks Brooklynites Into Drinking Budweiser

As A-B continues its continued campaign targeting craft beer fans, Budweiser headed to Brooklyn during Restaurant Week and orchestrated a little stunt to get people to actually drink Bud—and even rave about it.

Hip, young Millennials were invited to sneak peek a new bar, weeks prior to its opening. When there, they were asked to sample a smooth, crisp, golden lager. The bartender played into the craft beer trend and highlighted how the lager had been aged over beechwood and the brewer’s recipe hadn’t changed for 139 years.

Why Its Hot

A-B InBev’s pro-macro beer Super Bowl spot was meant to ruffle a few feathers and get people talking. Budweiser has seen declines in sales in recent years as consumer tastes for more premium beers gains popularity. Craft beer production was up 42% last year, and for the first time ever, craft brews accounted for more than 10% of all beer sales in the US.

budweiser_craft_beer.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlarge

Craft brewing is still a niche, but a fast growing one that is beginning to take market share from Budweiser, transforming Bud into a beer without a “purpose” and in desperate need for a new positioning to entice young beer drinkers.

Specially Printed Beer Packaging Helps Prevent Malaria

A beer post with purpose.

SP Brewery is improving the beer drinking experience by attacking its fiercest competitors- mosquitoes. The 62-year-old Heineken subsidiary partnered with agency GPY&R Brisbane to develop mosquito-repelling packaging for its most popular lager.

To gain customer loyalty in the growing Papua New Guinea beer industry, SP Brewery wanted to demonstrate that it knows its customers best. Thus the “Mozzie Box” was born, a eucalyptus-treated carton that behaves like a mosquito coil. When burned, the box releases the natural insect repellent into the air and wards off the pesky bugs.

The carton is solving real problems for SP drinkers – people want to drink outside, but the mosquitoes are a threat to anyone who does. The carton is bypassing that problem at a low cost. In fact, manufacturing the boxes is about as cheap as printing one extra color, so the design is quite easy to execute.

SP_Mozzie_Box_Fire_Repellent_PSFK-964x644

Source: PSFK

Why It’s Hot

This is a good example of an insight-led innovation that is simple, and shows understanding of audience needs outside of the immediate product.

Budweiser’s anti-craft beer Super Bowl ad made me sad!

Blasphemy! While watching the Super Bowl (commercials) this year, I was taken aback by this non-puppy ad from Budweiser called “Brewed the Hard Way”

The industry and social media is all a flutter as to whether this was a mistaken strategy.

The ad appeared to mock not only craft beer, but also the people who enjoy it — a move that proved to be both tone deaf and embarrassing for the company.

The ad, which began by noting that Budweiser “is not brewed to be fussed over” ended with the tagline: “Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale. We’ll be brewing us some golden suds.”

Except, whoops! Just over a week ago, Budweiser’s parent company bought well-known Seattle craft brewery Elysian . Among the beers that brewery made last year? The Gourdgia on my Mind Pecan Peach Pumpkin Amber.“Elysian’s brands are an important addition to our high-end beer portfolio, and we look forward to working together,” said Andy Goeler, CEO of Craft at Anheuser-Busch at the time.

In fact, Budweiser’s parent company has quietly been buying craft breweries and launching its own craft-style brands for the past few years. Shock Top is a Belgian-style wheat ale produced by the company (which, it’s worth noting, also has a pumpkin seasonal). Organic craft brewery Green Valley Brewing Company doesn’t fly the Anheuser-Busch flag, but it’s owned by the company. So is Goose Island, which was purchased in 2011. And it owns stakes in Seattle’s Red Hook Brewing and Portland’s Widmer Brothers Brewery.

The apparent attack on craft beer comes as the King of Beers has seen its crown become more tarnished. Young drinkers have been turning away from the brand for more than 25 years. In 2013, the company shipped 16 million barrels of Budweiser, while overall craft beer shipments came in at 16.1 million barrels.

On social media, craft beer lovers, not surprisingly, took aim at Budweiser – noting the defensive nature of the ad.

Best response:

Why It’s Hot

Frequenters of this blog know that I care about two things (1) Beer and (2) Marketing Strategy! So I do believe this shows us the power of a misguided insight — Budweiser chose to fight against a trend vs. embrace it. If anything, they were appealing to people who already drink Bud. However, the reaction only amplified the exposure of the ad. Go craft beer!!

Beer on tap: New app summons Bud Light to your door

AB InBev is waging war on the beer run with a new app that lets drinkers have Bud Light delivered to their doors.

The Bud Light Button is only available to drinkers in Washington, D.C., and promises beer within one hour of ordering.

AB InBev has partnered with a third-party beer delivery service Klink to use independent offices to deliver up to 100 cases of beer. The app uses credit-card details for payment and, presumably, to ensure the buyer is over 21 years old.

Along with beer delivery, AB InBev is looking to inspire ‘YOLO’ moments with extra ‘Up for Whatever’ experiences. The idea is to throw surprise parties for customers picked at random, to match with the brand’s tagline: “The perfect beer for whatever happens”.

 Why It’s Hot:

“Whatever, whenever” seems to be a trendy campaign for beer lately, with Heineken operating under a similar messaging strategy.

In the age of Uber and Seamless (plus alcohol delivery services spouting up left and right), it makes sense that a brand would want to be front and center of the “get it now” Millennial need. However, I’m sure there are other services that will deliver a variety of beverages for a party — why would someone want just Bug Light? I guess we will see!

 

DELTA TAPS SEVEN MORE CRAFT BREWS FOR IN-FLIGHT OFFERING

Delta Airlines will start serving brews from seven craft breweries on its flights. On certain routes, passengers will be able to drink beers from San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing Company, Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing Company, Brooklyn’s Brooklyn Brewery, California’s Lagunitas Brewing Company and Stone Brewing Company, Massachusetts’ Newburyport Brewing Company, and Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewery. Plus, all domestic routes will also serve beer from Samuel Adams.

This year, Delta has taken steps to improve its food selection as well: Besides serving the airlines’ addictive spiced, speculoos-style cookies, the company has partnered with chef Linton Hopkins to design an in-flight menu featuring upscale eats.

Delta Air Lines Regional Craft BeersSources: Eater, Delta Press Release

Why It’s Hot

It’s interesting to see how the airline industry is evolving to changing tastes. We saw British Airways matching in-flight food to music tastes recently. It’s also interesting to see the power that beer tastes in particular are driving a change in the beverage landscape. We’ve seen brewers, such as Shocktop, start to adjust to preferences for craft beer as well.

It does make one wonder if airlines are prioritizing catchy perks over major improvements to comfort.

 

 

 

Device Only Dispenses Beer When Two Strangers Charge Their Phones Together

Alcohol has long been known as a social lubricant, which is exactly why Nordic agency group Hasan & Partners has created a device that dispense beer only when two people are charging their phone together. Installed at this year’s Eurobest, a celebration of European creativity held in Helsinki, the concept is designed to make networking more enjoyable, while also preventing too many awkward silences.

Built by Hasan & Partners’ sister company, Perfect Fools, the device dispenses Carlsberg beer whenever two phones are being charged at the same time. It’s powered by Raspberry Pi, and uses a USB hub to detect when the phones are connected. This in turn opens the draft taps on the beer dispenser, resulting in a much more refreshing way to catch up on the day’s events.

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To take sharing a step further, the agency also created a virtual slot machine game that only works when people share their location (the Hasan & Partner’s stand at the conference) via Facebook or Twitter. Games can be played on mobile, but are also displayed on giant LCD screens at the stand. Prizes include deluxe cruises from TallinkGrupp, chocolate from Fazer, and a chance to share your work with Hasan herself, and Eka Ruola, CEO/CCO of Hasan & Partners.

Why It’s Hot

Though a device like this might never take off en-mass, Hasan & Partners have created a model that brands could leverage in OOH campaigns. The idea of “strangers” charging could align with certain brands like Coca-Cola who position their product as bottled happiness that change a person’s disposition. Providing utility like phone charging can add immediate value to consumers, and added functionality like games can keep people engaged in (branded) content. Plus, phones take some time to charge… that’s a lot of free time they could spend with a brand.

Source: PSFK

Guinness Goes American and Blonde With Discovery Series

Beginning in September, Guinness will get a little bit more American. A new program called the “Discovery Series” will feature a range of beers using various styles that will be marketed under the Guinness megabrand.

The first brew out of the gate will be made in the U.S. and called Guinness Blonde American Lager, which will be supported by a national TV campaign. A print ad that recently ran in Playboy magazine teased the upcoming launch by boasting that “the most talked about American blonde in years … will come from a most unexpected source.”

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GuinnessPlayboyAd

The program seeks to capitalize on the growing thirst for variety in beers that has fueled the craft-beer movement. Guinness is calling its new entry a “fusion brew” that blends the American lager brewing style with the influence of overseas Guinness know-how.

Guinness Blonde will be brewed in Latrobe, Pa., at a contract brewery called City Brewing, but will be made using a Guinness yeast imported from Dublin.

The plan is to introduce two Discovery Series beers each year featuring various styles. While Blonde will become a permanent fixture in the Guinness line-up, some of the brews might be limited editions.

Source: AdAge

Why It’s Hot

While we’re on the topic of beer… 🙂

This is an example of product development and marketing in direct reaction to changing consumption habits. According to Doug Campbell, director of Diageo’s beer business, “In the states there is still a certain amount of magic about the classic Guinness being brewed in Dublin…but [there is a] tension in the beer world: More people want to “buy from a brewery next door” to me but at the very same time when it comes to imports, there is still a demand for the expertise, the heritage [and] artistry that a lot of imported brands have.”

I also think the choice of channel (Playboy) is an interesting take on their target audience — are these guys the “craft” beer drinkers? Those willing to try new things? Not sure, but would love to see the insight that guided the media choices!

 

Heineken goes celeb to continue “Cities of the World” campaign

Heineken has debuted a new digital video starring Fred Armisen as a regular as part of the brand’s global “Cities of the World” campaign. The newest phase of the campaign, called “Routine Interruptions,” uses what Heineken is calling “social experiments” that aim to pull city dwellers from their usual routines.

Mr. Armisen’s video,called “Ringing Payphone,” features him anonymously calling a New York City payphone to see who picks up. He keeps his identity shielded, while asking people to “come across the street.” Those who obliged — and only a handful of people did out of thousands that passed by the phone, according to Heineken — were invited on stage with Mr. Armisen at the Comedy Cellar comedy club on MacDougal Sreet.

As part of the campaign, Heineken will encourage people to enter their phone numbers at RoutineInterruptions.com. The brand promises to call “thousands” of entrants, asking people to partake in an unknown activity. The events are described as “cultural activities that inspire them to try something new.” Examples of rewards could include a private concert in a living room.

Dedicated website here

Source: AdAge

Why It’s Hot

Heineken’s “Cities of the World” campaign continues to expand the positioning of adventure, fun, urban and risk-taking. Heineken seems to be everywhere these days, creating very Millennial-focused experiences and getting a great viral value out of them. The expansion of the campaign to celebrities like Fred Armisen and Neil Patrick Harris introduces an fun new phase that could appeal to a wider audience.

 

Shock Top’s next shock wave

Back in March, I posted about Shock Top’s national TV buy during NCAA’s March Madness college basketball tournament, plus a digital ad takeover of ESPN.com — all indicating a shift in spending by A-B Inbev on this “craft beer” brand, to compete specifically with Blue Moon.

Now, Shock Top has .a fun series of bar and liquor store stunts leveraging their citrus mascot…oh, just striking up a conversation. The mascot, named Wedgehead, starts speaking to unsuspecting shoppers or bar-goers, drawing some big attention to the brand.

The real question, of course, is whether the stunts are real or staged. Without a behind-the-scenes video or official word from the marketer, we’re left to watch and decide for ourselves.

View more videos on Shock Top’s YouTube channel here.

Source: AdWeek

Why It’s Hot

I enjoy keeping track of beer marketing, especially in this “mass / craft” space. The brand is taking on a quirky, surprising and youthful voice — and almost literally saying “look at me.” The POP stunts are kind of silly — but likely to get the job done both in store and as a viral video success story.

Newcastle Brown Ale Imagines How Things Might Have Gone

Last year, Newcastle launched the holiday “Independence Eve” (July 3rd) as an excuse to sell beer… and of course, the last day of British rule over America. This year, the brewer has brought in Stephen Merchant for a monologue denouncing the insanity that is American celebrations every Fourth of July. Merchant urges viewers to think of how differently things would have been if the British had won the war.

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Why It’s Hot

July 4th is one of the biggest beer-selling holidays in America. Many popular brands will unveil new packaging to pay tribute to the red, white and blue. Newcastle Brown Ale has no interest in the 4th, they’re more concerned with the 3rd of July. As a British brewer and probably not the first beer on tap at a July 4th celebration, Newcastle Brown Ale has taken a cheeky approach to the holiday by choosing to own “Independence Eve.”

Read more here

Newcastle “Buys” Twitter Followers in New Stunt Campaign

 

Despite their well-received (almost) Superbowl commercial, Newcastle Brown Ale’s Twitter account had seen stagnant growth. Instead of organizing a contest or creating loads of original content, they went for a brilliant stunt: they will send a whole full dollar to each of their next 50,000 Twitter followers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3q5JB6NO2sU

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Why it’s hot:

You can’t beat a truly clever campaign in today’s social media world. Until this campaign launched (June 4th) the brand had roughly 16,000 Twitter followers, and they doubled to over 32,000 in just 24 hours. Time will tell how many stick around, but for the time being they’re generating a whole lot of positive buzz.

Shock Top beer breaks out with new campaign

Shock Top will be launching its first TV ad campaign with a national buy that will get play during the NCAA’s March Madness college basketball tournament, plus a digital ad takeover of ESPN.com. This indicates a shift in spending by A-B Inbev on this “craft beer” brand, to compete specifically with Blue Moon, which has significantly higher awareness. Overall, A-B Inbev plans to more than triple spending on the brand in 2014.

Shock Top’s campaign features video that was originally shot for digital use as part of a contest that asked fans to share their dreams. The brand picked several dream submissions and paid to make them happen, shooting video of several. The new ads make use of Shock Top’s ongoing “Live Life Unfiltered” tagline, which is play on the unfiltered brew, as well as a way to push an adventurous personality for the brand.

Source: AdAge

Why It’s Hot

It is interesting to see how the big breweries are tapping into the “craft and specialty beer” category — which tends to be associated with smaller, local, quality brews. As the craft beer boom continues and tastes change, companies like AB-Inbev and MillerCoors will have to shift as well. As they do, and big marketing dollars move into craft beer, it will be interesting to see what local breweries do to compete….Or, is “big craft” a category in itself that does not market to the same audience as the more experimental, aficionado clientele of craft brews today?

This is also hot because I DID THIS!:

Happy hour 2.0 being tested in Denmark

Carlsberg is giving drinkers the chance to extend the “Happy Hour” period in bars by uploading pictures in an advocacy push to tie the brand to memorable nights out. “Happy Hour 2.0” initiative renews the “well-known” on-trade promotion to fit the modern social media mindset. Visitors to participating bars are given the opportunity to keep buying Carlsberg or Tuborg beer at half price by uploading pictures to Instagram with the name of the venue and the #HappyBeerTime hashtag.  Read more and watch video

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Why It’s Hot 
In the future, the most successful brands in social will recognize the importance of incorporating consumers into their marketing efforts. Consumers are already promoting their favorite brands, however, by rewarding them for over-sharing, this fulfills their need for instant gratification. Bartender, can we order another round?  😉

Native Advertising: Modern “Advertorial” on Steroids

AOL & MillerCoors sign $5MM “Native” Ad Deal

Miller inks 5MM native deal with AOL

Forget banners, pre-rolls or anything that looks like “advertising.” Brands want ownership of “editorial”, and with big bucks at stake, publishers are playing along. AOL will produce about 350 pieces of original content, including 100 videos, for Miller, before eoy. Each piece will appeal to male millennials, and plug Miller Lite, Coors Lite, Blue Moon, or Redd’s Apple Ale. The editorial content, dubbed the “Brew Pub Newsroom,” will span AOL properties: Huffington Post, Huff Post Live and Mandatory.com.

MillerCoors is hardly the only brand testing publishers’ willingness to blur those lines that have traditionally separated editorial and advertising. Ford just committed a reported $10 million to sponsor a video series, “This Built America,” by AOL.

Why It’s Hot

While not a totally new idea, even in the form described (big money, multi-media), marketer interest is increasing. We’re doing more content integration and distribution work than a year ago and this is likely to evolve to include more content sourcing and original content development in the future. Native advertising programs are a far cry from media buys. They require team collaboration throughout. Strategy, creative, media, project management and account services, must be intimately involved from inception through proposal development, negotiation, definition of roles/responsibilities, client presentation and so on. It’s exciting and presents huge opportunities for creativity…and team-bonding!

Source: iMedia Connection, Gavin O’Malley, Mar 18 2014