How to nail marketing by BrewDog and ALDI

Two pints and a a delicious beer.
A tale of copycat culture and clever comments on the current climate…

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A tale of copycat culture and clever comments on the current climate…

 Humour has been at a bit of a premium in 2020. We’ve been stuck inside, we are all zoomed out, and to be honest, we’d welcome anything that is likely to give us a little smile…

…it has come as a relief then, on the odd occasion, where we have stumbled across a little bit of ingenuity, a little bit of ingeniousness, a little bit of, dare we say it…fun!

And that’s exactly what we see with some of BrewDog’s ( marketing antics over the last few months.

We’re calling them ‘antics’, because it can hardly be called a campaign, as nothing planned could ever have gone as well as this.

Sometimes that’s just the way it goes…

It all started when the now jobless Dominic Cummings decided to test his eyesight at Barnard Castle.

Remember that little gem?

Well, BrewDog decided to poke fun at this faux pas by creating a batch of beer called ‘BARNARD CASTLE EYE TEST’, beautifully presented with letters of decreasing size, just like at the opticians.

The public, along with BrewDog’s avid followers, went mad for it, especially as it was revealed that all profits would be going towards the funding of free sanitiser for NHS workers.

The social media feeds went crazy, trending on Twitter after hundreds of thousands of comments and retweets. Well played BrewDog…

We don’t doubt the genuine sentiment behind the gesture, but we also know that you don’t always have to make money, to make money, if that makes sense.

Now, this would have been a brilliant piece of marketing on its own, as indeed it was, but a little bit of serendipity turned this summer into the best summer of marketing that BrewDog have ever enjoyed.

Eye Test

Once again, it all centred around the socials.

BrewDog’s founder, James Watt, released a tweet showing a mock up IPA named ‘Yaldi’, after it was pointed out to him that ALDI were stocking a beer that resembled BrewDog’s iconic and signature PUNK IPA, under the label ‘Anti Establishment’.

Now, we all know that ALDI go close to the bone with their copy cat culture, falling foul of copyright law once or twice over the years, but they too saw an opportunity from all of this.

Whoever was on the social media for ALDI that day deserves a raise, as they promptly responded by saying they would’ve preferred a case of ‘ALDI IPA’, and just like that, the idea was conceived.

Cue a few hours and days of social media hype, with retweets and trends galore for both companies, and you can only imagine how this was being received by their shareholders and bosses.

Likes and retweets aren’t always worth their weight in gold, but these ones were.

Reputation, brand identity, popularity – all through the roof. Sales? Following closely behind…

Fast forward a few weeks and we now see ALDI stores across the UK stocking BrewDog’s ALDI IPA, a sure fire win for both companies.

It would be hard to pin down the key factors in the success of these two anecdotes, and over analysing things tends to spoil the fun, but what it all boils down to is this…

…spotting an opportunity, taking a risk, and not taking your self too seriously.

Well done to both companies for having a bit of a laugh, poking fun at politics, and giving us all a rare smile in an otherwise pretty grim year.

Now, who fancies a pint of ALDI and a spot of sightseeing? I need to test my eyes…

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