Monday, 1 June 2015

A Kids' Book For Beer

AB InBev – the biggest brewer in the world – has come out with a surprising but interesting campaign: “Let’s Grab A Beer”. It’s running with content across digital and social media, with a dedicated website and app. It’s unbranded, with no mention of their products or their company, apart from a tiny disclaimer at the bottom of the site.

The goal of the campaign? To grow the beer market, regardless of the product. Let’s Grab A Beer is all about selling beer as a concept, giving information, building the social element of beer drinking, and above all generating good feelings about beer.

The wisdom of unbranded campaigning might seem a little questionable. But the reality is that with such a dominant market share, growing that market just makes sense for AB InBev, regardless of the lack of self-promotion.

Even beyond that, the reality of the campaign’s premise – the promotion of social beer drinking, of beer as a social event – plays perfectly into the hands of their product offering. Most of the AB InBev brands are not craft beers, designed to be enjoyed on their taste or their craft, but as part of a social occasion, sharing drinks with friends.

So all in all this is a brilliant bit of out of the box thinking from AB InBev. 

Or at least it would have been, if the strategic vision had been matched with creative daring. 

The problem is that while the idea was sound, the execution was conservative. The information given is limited, the jokes and humour are tame, and lack that core quality that social content needs – shareability. The simple reality is that people share social media because they feel a burning desire to, not because of a vague inclination.

So we’re left with half a campaign – a clever initiative without the creativity and boldness to make it work. Perhaps they meant to make it funnier and more daring until the recent waves of criticism of their marketing hit.

As it is, it’s basically a kids’ pop-up book for beer. You’d have to be pretty drunk to think that that’s entertaining.

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