Peter Whent

November 18, 2022

The Twelve Beers of Christmas

It’s mid-November and it’s the time when we should be getting ready to wish Chris Rea a safe drive home.

Instead we’re trying desperately to muster up an ounce of enthusiasm for a World Cup. What the actual?

As if that isn’t enough to unsettle us, attention-seeking beer maker Brewdog, have lurched drunkenly into the Nativity Play by appointing themselves the “anti-sponsor” of the World Cup. Something about not being happy with the bribery and corruption 🙄. Again, what the actual?

We don’t know what to make of their World F*Cup campaign.

Admittedly they have a web site overflowing with worthy intentions. But they also have form. Employee abuse and toxic working conditions isn’t just for migrant workers building footy stadiums in Qatar.

So are Brewdog serious human rights warriors or black belt third dan virtue signallers?

On the one hand it’s like:

“Babe are you OK, you’ve barely touched your culture vision statement that you worked so hard to get onto the company web site”

While on the other it’s:

“You’re still shipping beer to Qatar you bastards.”

“And you’re showing the games in your pubs, you hypocrites.”

We can’t seem to collectively decide, so we argue about it, and therein lies the brilliance of this campaign.

It's a Founder's nightmare

There was a time when it was enough to show a good looking cowboy sparking up a cigarette to get a bump in sales. Great advertising wasn't about creativity, it was about deep pockets.

Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

No we’re in 2022 where we all have free access to billions of people on social media platforms. All we need is a browser and a Grammarly template called “How Hard Can It Be?”

Everyone thinks they’re David fucking Ogilvy.

As a result the ether is hopelessly clogged by a planet sized fatburg of empty, boring, drivel with zero calories that is passed off as content.

The messaging game in 2022 is no longer about making some deep intellectual connection. The game is getting attention.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. Brewdog don’t give a shit about the rights and wrongs of a World Cup in Qatar. Nor do they care what most people think about their opportunism.

The messaging game in 2022 is no longer about making some deep intellectual connection. The game is getting attention.

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Their campaign is a reminder to their audience. It’s a clarion call to beer drinking men to watch the world cup with a Punk IPA in their hand. That’s all.

Don’t believe me? Watch their pubs fill up during the world cup. And while they do, Brewdog will be unapologetic about the whole thing, because they’ve won. Love them or hate them, they’ve got our attention. It doesn’t matter how. What matters is they’ve done it.

In a noisy world of media, the currency is getting noticed. To achieve that you have to do something different with your messaging. To be generic is to be totally invisible. You have to shock people, amuse them, make them think, or disrupt them. Hello Brewdog.

When all that matters is getting heard, sometimes you just have to put your big girl pants on, take a deep breath, and do something as
Bold AF.

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