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game change

Tim Hortons at 50: Celebrating Its Canadian Roots, and its Future

Posted by Amanda Caswell on July 29, 2014 08:01 PM

The days of the "double double" are numbered. Well, not quite. But Tim Hortons can see a future where their brand experience pushes far beyond that iconic order.

At the company's recent franchise owners conference, an innovative invite-only concept store highlighted the evolving landscape of Canadian tastes and explored what might be new in store. As "Tims" gets ready to turn its first store into a celebration of its 50 years in business, it's also brewing up a fresh pot of brand experience, and envisioning how future stores can transform.

Cue its "Restaurant of the Future" concept store, which goes beyond brewing just java—this location also served coffee beers inspired by the famed Tim’s flavor, and an expanded menu that included omelets and crepes.Continue reading...

campaigns

This Fourth of July, Guinness Pours Its Heart Out to America

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 4, 2014 05:17 PM

The campaign: Not the only UK beer brand making a statement in America for Independence Day, Guinness tugs at the heartstrings with this commercial released on July 3rd. With few words but plenty of emotion, a bartender places a pint of Guinness on an empty table every night—setting up a story that demands viewers watch to the end. The emotional spot, part of its #MadeOfMore campaign, follows on the brand's acclaimed wheelchairs spot last year and also recalls its Barnes Twins 2014 Winter Olympics video.

The pitch: "The choices we make reveal our true character."

The response: Will Burns, reviewing the spot for Forbes.com, calls it a "near-perfect pour."

Watch the spot, directed by Noam Murro, below.Continue reading...

campaigns

Newcastle Brown Ale Touts July 3rd Holiday That Might Have Been

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 4, 2014 03:13 PM

The campaign: In a similar vein to Newcastle Brown Ale's tongue-in-cheek Super Bowl Mega Huge Football campaign with actress Anna Kendrick and former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson, this Fourth of July effort aims for the funnybone with two British celebrities—comedian Stephen Merchant and actress Elizabeth Hurley—and American actor Zachary Quinto of Star Trek fame. Web extras look at other ways (names, Mount Rushmore, English muffins, cabs) life might have been different.

The pitch: Newcastle makes the case that America would be better off if it had never split from Mother England in a continuation of last year's Independence Eve campaign: "Imagine how great it could have been. And imagine how much beer we could have sold. IfWeWon.com." Diluting the impact of the social marketing, there are two hashtags: #IfWeWon and #IndependenceEve. A Twitter typo in the latter likely didn't help.

The response: As with any celebrity-based effort, the brand hoped to target fans. Yet the celeb with the biggest social following didn't have the biggest pull.Continue reading...

World Cup Daily

With Alcohol Bans Lifted, the World Cup is Gearing Up to be One Big Boozy Party

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 12, 2014 06:37 PM

With the first match won, there's no doubt Brazilian fans are celebrating in the Sao Paolo arena with an ice cold Budweiser—or three. The beer giant, one of the World Cups major official sponsors, is more than ready to reap the benefits of its massive cross-media marketing efforts.

“It’s incredible the impact digital is having,” on Budweiser’s World Cup activity, marketing manager Jennifer Anton told The Drum, though she noted that television is still important. “TV really drives affinity and will continue to be important,” she told the site. “We’re seeing the cross-over with video on demand and people watching our ads on YouTube. As consumers change their media habits, we’re changing along with them.”

To capture the video-loving audience, Bud has worked with VICE Media to create football-centric videos for its website and YouTube channel, creating documentary-style programming in keeping with the VICE News ethos.Continue reading...

sip on this

Brooklyn Brewery Takes Its Sips to Stockholm in Local Beer Brand Extension

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 30, 2014 06:25 PM

The brand of New York City's Brooklyn borough has been rising for years and is now so stamped on American culture that it is easy to caricature. Brooklyn Brewery, one of the fastest-growing craft brewers around, has benefited from the borough's brand rise and its latest step is giving it (and the borough) a more global reach.

According to Bloomberg, the brewer has partnered with Carlsberg, its Swedish importer, and D. Carnegie & Co. to open a new brewery in Stockholm, Sweden, that will sell their wares. Sweden is the second-most popular market for Brooklyn beers outside of the borough itself, but the new brewery won't be just serving up traditional Brooklyn brews. A whole new line of beers, Nya Carnegie, are flowing from the taps there since it opened in early April.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

New Booze in Old Bottles: Alcohol Goes Retro for Eternal Cool Factor

Posted by Taylor Goddu on May 20, 2014 01:23 PM

A psychological phenomenon regarded as “the mere-exposure effect” suggests that people tend to gravitate towards the familiar. Taking something old and making it new is trendy—even fashionable—in this eco-friendly world of ours. Established brands are returning to their roots, mining their archives by reintroducing iconic products with a modern twist. 

Even new booze brands are harkening back to the good old days, whether in name, design, or messaging. This strategy makes the new feel more familiar—and desirable. With a consistent focus on artisanal qualities, newer brands are standing out by deploying vintage typography, line-base logos, bright colors, and more simplistic packaging techniques.

With a business model that would be at home in Portlandia, The Mason Shaker is tipping one back. Founded in 2012 by best friends with southern roots, this Brooklyn-based brand developed a 4-piece cocktail shaker set featuring the iconic Americana jam jar. This update on a product that was patented in 1858 feels refreshingly simple for sudsy occasions.Continue reading...

multicultural marketing

MillerCoors: Brewing Authenticity and Respect for Latino Consumers

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 6, 2014 06:23 PM

May the Fourth be with Cinco de Mayo. Yes, there's a lot of real-time marketing going on this month, from brands tapping into Star Wars fever to U.S. marketers getting their arriba!-time marketing on for Cinco de Mayo—not Mexico's Independence Day, as Digiday rightly points out.

Multicultural marketing is always to be approached sensitively, as MSNBC found out this week, to its chagrin. Sadly, Cinco de Mayo has become an excuse for every frat-boy gringo to pull on a sombrero and holler random Spanish exclamations after downing their tequila. Like the shot girls, this version of the holiday is a fiction, a bastardization of the holiday that was originally created to honor underdog Mexican fighters who defeated French soldiers who had more bodies, better equipment, and finer training way back in 1862. 

Those fighters, now mythologized and celebrated, have become symbols for oppressed Latino workers in America. Now the holiday that celebrates them has become oppressive as young drinkers enter the bars of America and play out every Latino stereotype imaginable. Fortunately, smart brands are looking beyond the stereotypes—including Coors Light, in its first-ever line extension.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Whisky Gets Fashionable, Post-Workout Beer and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 7, 2014 07:39 PM

Forget Gatorade—Drink Beer After Your Workout

Alcohol and exercise aren’t generally two topics that are combined, but a Canadian company has gone the counterintuitive route and is testing out a low-alcohol, high-protein “recovery ale” for athletes to enjoy, NPR reports. Called it Lean Machine, the brew from Vampt could be on shelves later this year.

"We just thought that maybe we could do something that would support a drinker, make it still socially fun, and help them accomplish what needs to be accomplished after an aggressive workout," Vampt founder Ian Toews said.Continue reading...

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