‘Untappd’ is a kind of Twitter for beer lovers, where users say what and where they’re drinking. No beer marketers seem to have used it for marketing purposes yet, which is odd, because they are obsessively working social media into their ad campaigns. Here are a few examples:
The best excuse in the world
A 2011 campaign by Argentinian brewers Cerveza Norte offered drinkers ‘The best excuse in the world’ (Le Mejor Excusa del Mundo) to avoid an evening at home with their partner. Norte pledged that, for every one of their beers drunk at bars in a north Argentinian city, they would pay one worker to do one minute of civic improvements –repairing schools, cleaning lakes, planting trees and so on. There were counters outside bars to show how many minutes had been funded so far, and people could follow the progress of the good deeds on a special website. People drank so many beers that the company ended up funding 833 hours of constructive work. As the ad put it, “The more boyfriends went out, the nicer their city became.”
Being both humorous and socially beneficial, this campaign was perfectly designed to go viral on Facebook and Twitter.
Another inspired campaign from Norte, again with a strong social media angle. They ran a series of adverts showing people embarrassing themselves in nightclubs, with the pictures ending up on Facebook. The ad promoted the Norte Photoblocker, a beer cooler with four light-sensitive panels. When these detect camera flashes, the Photoblocker sends out its own burst of light, flooding the picture in white and saving your embarrassment the next day. Apparently, the Photoblocker really exists and works. Both Norte’s campaigns were run by Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, a multi-award winning agency based in Buenos Aires.
Your face in lights
Corona rented a billboard in Times Square for a month in late 2010. When people ‘liked’ Corona on Facebook, they were invited to upload a picture, and these pictures then appeared on the billboard. Corona’s ‘likes’ increased 6,000% over the month, ending on 200,000.
Bluetooth bottle opener
Heineken has invented a bottle opener that is connected to Facebook via Bluetooth. Whenever you open a beer with the tool, it creates a Facebook event inviting your friends over right away. The person whose event has the most online RSVPs gets a free case of Heineken, at the cost of only a small invasion of privacy.
I’ll buy you a beer
Heineken also has a Foursquare app where you can promise to buy a beer for a friend. You then get a notification when the friend ‘checks in’ to a bar, and you can buy them a Heineken – the bartender receives a notification and serves them. This in a nice idea, but misses the point of buying a beer for a friend: you need to be there to enjoy it with them.
The ‘Beertender’ is an appliance that holds a mini-keg of Heineken and serves up a cold one on request. Heineken has designed a Facebook app for people who want a Beertender, but are reluctant to treat themselves. Heineken’s app pairs people up, and they buy the gadgets for each other. These gadgets arrive gift wrapped, with a gift tag from the other person. Again, it’s an interesting-if-pointless concept, which shows just how desperate companies are to build their social media presence.
Now you know what the major brands are doing, why not come up with a social media campaign for your home brew? You could use Twitter to arrange tasting sessions, and get people to invent a name and design a custom label online.
Then ask Facebook and Twitter users to vote for their favourite ideas (within reason, of course – it has to be something your label suppliers are willing to print). Then sit back and wait for the campaign to go viral.