news you can booze

Craft Beer Fans Fight Back Against Big Beer Brews

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 15, 2013 04:04 PM

Everyone wants a piece of the craft beer industry, from big beer brands to major league ball clubs. But these days, it's getting harder and harder to tell a true craft brew from ones just made to look the part. 

The most recent faux-craft siting occured at Yankee Stadium, where a vendor operating as "Craft Brew Destination" was in fact selling "craft" beers made by MillerCoors. Blogger Amanda Rykoff sounded off about the misinformation, noting MillerCoors beers (whether they're labeled craft or not) don't exactly fit into the Brewers Association’s definition of a craft brewer, which limits production to six million barrels or less and demands independent ownership. As NPR notes, the Yankees have been shamed into renaming the stand Beer Mixology Destination, a collection of words that mean pretty much nothing other than “Beer Here!”Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All The News You Can Drink: Tommy Guns Vodka, Corona's Herd, Dos de Mayo and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 5, 2013 06:30 PM

Gun Company Fires Back at Tommy Guns Vodka

Chicago mobsters back in the days of Al Capone favored a submachine gun known as the Tommy gun, which was then glorified in plenty of films and books about the era. But Tommy guns aren’t some relic of history. Saeilo Enterprises still makes them, and the owners aren’t very happy with Alphonse Capone Enterprises and its Tommy Guns Vodka, which is sold in a bottle shaped like the famous gun.

In fact, they are so annoyed that a lawsuit has been filed, the Chicago Tribune reports. Saeilo wants all of the Tommy Guns Vodka that is left to be turned over so it can all be destroyed. (Consumption counts as destroying, right?)Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Newcastle Gets Real, Shipwrecked Brew and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 22, 2013 06:30 PM

Newcastle Gets Real

Newcastle has taken a new tack in its advertising and it’s all about turning old beer advertising on its head. Beer marketers love to throw “heritage” imagery at consumers to make beer drinkers feel like they are part of something bigger, so Newcastle decided to go back to its roots, the English town of Newcastle, where residents—known as Geordies—are filled with humor and realism. The result? Newcastle’s “No Bollocks” ad campaign.

“If you look at the Geordies, they’re very friendly, down-to-earth; they don’t take themselves too seriously, and tell it like it is. We figured that is a really interesting space for us to be in," says Newcastle Brown Ale Brand Director Charles van Es, according to Fast Company's FastCoCreate blog. "We wanted to use that wit and dry sense of humor as our brand voice. We want to be transparent about the fact that we’re marketing to you and the fact that our beer comes from England.”Continue reading...

brand partners

Dude Process: PBR, O'Neill Avoid Trademark Scuffle By Partnering

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 19, 2013 02:37 PM

Hipsterrific U.S. beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon and surfing powerhouse O’Neill could have had a legal battle, but the chill brands instead decided to pound it out and make some money together. 

O’Neill turned out a new surf look recently that caused someone in the Pabst legal department to give them a call to note that O’Neill was getting a little too close for comfort to the logo for Pabst, which is owned by the enterprising bunch at Metropoulos & Co., the company that just linked up with Apollo Global Management to buy the rights to Twinkies for $410 million.

But instead of a brouhaha, the two companies decided (no doubt over a cold one) to chill out and partner on a co-branded line of clothing.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Miller Lite Brings Back 'Miller Time' and 'All Star' Approach in New Campaign

Posted by Dale Buss on March 8, 2013 06:12 PM

Miller Lite is turning to an old page in its playbook, with a new gang of celebrities designed to boost the flagging brew in a fresh slate of TV commercials served up on another iconic platter for the franchise, "Miller Time." The new go-to guys for Miller Lite include Vince Vaughn, Ken Jeong, Chuck Liddell and Questlove.

But interestingly, Miller brand managers say that their new campaign (watch below) will not seek to trade too heavily on the appeal or persona of any one of its new stable of celebrity pitch people. One ad wonders what it would be like to hang out with actor Jeong, who will star in the upcoming Hangover Part III—but he's self-deprecating in the spot.

"Celebrity is not our strategy," Con Williamson, chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, the agency behind the campaign, told Ad Age. "Our strategy is solely focused on Miller Time." That, of course, will leave Miller strategically opposed to the growing number of tight tie-ups between beverage brands and individual celebrities, including Justin Timberlake and Bud Light Platinum, Taylor Swift and Diet Coke, and Beyonce and Pepsi.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Heineken Star Rises, Brangelina Wine a Sell-Out and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 8, 2013 05:07 PM

Heineken’s Star Bottle Arrives Stateside with New Campaign

Heineken’s new taller, sleeker and starred bottle is already available in 170 countries and is now being rolled out in the United States with a new “Arrive Big” ad campaign featuring the brand’s “Man of the World” in such exotic locations as Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Lagos, Nigeria and New York City. In each location, the protagonist finds himself in prickly situations at various clubs, yet somehow ends up with the girl and the beer (and an #arrivebig hashtag, to boot) in the end.

“Our priority is to ‘break the mold’ in beer marketing with cinematic, sophisticated ads that feature our ‘Man of the World,’ a progressive, cultured guy, who is inventive in any situation,” said Colin Westcott-Pitt, vice president of Heineken, in a press release. Heineken doesn’t go so far as to pull a New Coke move and break the mold inside the bottle, of course.Continue reading...

ad watch

Heineken's "The Candidate" the Latest in Extreme Interviewing

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on February 21, 2013 07:02 PM

In response to the shrunken job pool and the ever-growing ocean of job seekers, many companies are taking a non-traditional approach to filling openings.

Enter Heineken and their 'extreme' interviewing process. The Dutch beer giant released a viral video, simply titled "The Candidate", in which viewers get to watch a handful of unsuspecting hopefuls interview for an internship with the company's Event and Sponsorship department.

What follows—holding the boss's hand, reviving him after he passes out and rescuing an employee during a fire alarm—makes for pure, reality-show gold.Continue reading...

design watch

To Stay Current, Heineken Asks the Crowd to Draw on Designs In Its Past

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 6, 2013 03:02 PM

Milan Design Week may be held in Italy’s fashion capital, but it will have a bit of Dutch flair again this year as Heineken looks to ensure visitors get a glimpse of its branding.

The brewer, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary, has partnered with a few designers to create a new exhibit space in Milan – The Magazzini — leading up to the big April event.

Last year, Heineken created a pop-up nightclub for the event that was the creation of 19 young designers from around the world. The approach led crowdsourcing.org to name Heineken one of the “leading global brands to embrace crowdsourcing and co-creation.”

Moving forward with the crowdsourcing concept, the brand has now asked people to visit its Facebook page and use elements of its bottles, advertisements and labels from the past 140 years to “remix” them into a bottle of the future. The top 30 will be showcased during Milan Design Week, and a winner will also be announced that week.

The designer of the chosen bottle will also get to see their creation made and know that, for at least a limited time, beer drinkers worldwide are cradling their creation.

Heineken and its collaborators will also host a series of daily workshops at The Magazzini during Design Week.

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