This Newcastle non-ad campaign is out to prove that you don’t need to spend Super Bowl commercial money to make a splash. It’s all centered on the “Mega Huge Football Game Ad Newcastle Didn’t Actually Make.” (They refer to it slightly different each time.) For the past week, Newcastle has been releasing short videos about an ad they didn’t make because they “don’t have a ridiculously large marketing budget” or something like that. Although the videos seem confusing, especially out of context with each other, by taking a step back, I think it’s pretty obvious they’re just going for brand recognition here. And it’s working!
I first came across this campaign a few days ago when several of my friends posted the Anna Kendrick video on Facebook. I think it’s fair to say that these friends who posted the video were not likely to be Newcastle drinkers. Landing somewhere between your average national domestic and a lower end micro brew, Newcastle Brown Ale doesn’t really strike me as something most 20- or 30-somethings would be into. It’s not a bargain beer and it’s not a craft beer that we’re all so into these days.
The great thing about this campaign is that it got people outside of their current market share talking about their product. Even Kendrick admits in the ad, which hardly talks about the beer itself, that she doesn’t drink Newcastle. By releasing a similar video with formal NFL player Keyshawn Johnson, both the Pitch Perfect audience and the nostalgic football fan audience are talking about Newcastle Brown Ale! The Kendrick video is by far the most successful video with over 3,000,000 views, and it seems to be spreading quickly through new audiences.
The masterpiece, though, to me, is the video they released today. This narrated storyboard is complete with “everything a good commercial should have.” Sex appeal, aliens, superstars, robots, beer, sharks, beer, you name it. Not only is it way over the top ridiculous, but also it brings together the loose ends of all the previous videos. Clearly appealing to a younger beer-drinking audience who may not have explored the beer scene too much, Newcastle’s ad just makes me so curious about Newcastle that I HAVE to try one next time I see it at the store.
As someone who’s done some home brewing and brewery tours, I consider myself to be somewhat brew-savvy (just don’t call me a hipster). I’ve had Newcastle, but I can’t really say I remember what it tastes like other than the fact that it was unique. The brilliance in this campaign is that its only real message is “find out more about us.” The videos all direct you to http://www.ifwemadeit.com, a site with all of their videos for this campaign, and the videos are penetrating new markets. Their name is now associated with the lovable Anna Kendrick and hysterical storyboard videos. Not bad.
The real question is whether or not there actually will be any Newcastle Super Bowl ads. I don’t really think they need one. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. In the mean time, I think they’re doing just fine.