Newcastle Brown Ale, No Bollocks and The Importance of Consistent Brand Behavior

We are approaching Super Bowl, which is tremendous for ad aficionados (not necessarily for sales, though). During the last year´s Super Bowl, the favorite ad I had was actually one that did not even air at the actual commercial break.

Every brand tries to be a part of big event and competes against limited amount of attention, which is really focused on the actual game. In reality there is more exposure to be had by exploiting an event in the outskirts where the other brands do not dare to venture. They are playing safe and being scared of doing anything out of ordinary. This creates a great opportunity for the bold ambush marketer. Tap into big events and sponsorship, but try not to pay for it, is my motto.

That motto was followed by Newcastle Brown Ale last year with these highly entertaining ads piggybacking Super Bowl ad craze:

The Teaser for The Trailer for Newcastle´s Mega Huge Football Game AD

The Mega Huge Football Game Ad Newcastle Could´ve Made

Rest of the videos can be seen on the campaign site and here is the full case study of the success of the campaign:

I have had debates about the campaign (which is usually good sign, seldom you even notice a campaign, thus argue about it). Does it really fit with Newcastle Brown Ale brilliant brand promise? Their approach has been all about “No Bollocks” which means avoiding the usual beer ad clichés. Their pseudo super bowl ad is essentially in its post-modern sarcasm and ad irony is, well, bollocks. Sometimes you have to point out that you are not bollocks by first demonstrating what the bollocks is. In these ads by showing the beer ad bollocks clichés, Newcastle takes the higher ground by using parody and rises above the bollocks. That´s some serious philosophy right there. Not to mention that the ads are truly the dog´s bollocks.

Consistent brand behavior is not about repeating the same line over and over again. That is just an attempt to bore you into buying. Great brand behavior has strong brand belief (like No Bollocks) that manifests itself in everything or whatever the brand does. Therefore you don´t have to repeat “No Bollocks” if you show and demonstrate what no bollocks –attitude means. Being an underdog is also about the attitude. Newcastle Brown Ale is able to portray challenger underdog mentality, even though they are owned by big beer behemoth Heineken.

Consistent brand behavior also means that you stay true to your course. Quite often brands change their direction too often, although their current approach just started to work. After the success of last year´s Super Bowl Newcastle Brown Ale continues with the same brand behavior and similar tone. Not buying Super Bowl ad, but tapping into this biggest advertising showcase in the world. This time they are trying to “crowdsource” ad with some other brands, because they do not have budget to buy super bowl slot:

Newcastle Brown Ale also tapped into one of the most famous ad properties around Super Bowl (Doritos Crash The Super Bowl) and made their own “Doritos” ad:

Internet does not like sequels, but their approach showcases unique brand consistency, which is rare nowadays. More importantly the ads are funny as well.

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