Tag Archives: challenger marketing

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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Lidl is The Most Authentic Brand

Unfortunately quite often advertising is totally removed from reality:

You cannot say anything negative.
No, we cannot mention competitors.
And we definitely cannot challenge them.
We cannot say that we are cheap. We should be affordable.
Let´s just do what we have done before and hope that enough media budget will save us.

Firstly of the seven basic human emotions only one is totally positive (happiness). Surprise can be either or and the rest of the five are negative (fear, sadness, disgust, anger, contempt). If sticking to happy smiling people we are only working with slightly over 20% of human emotions. Rest of 80% can trigger buying behavior as well, but majority of the brands are just

Secondly, brands should stand up for something and be proud of it. All the great brands in the world have distinct character and strong belief in something. That something benefits their customers and makes them loyal to that particular brand.

“You have enemies. Good. That means you´ve stood up for something sometime in your life”
-Winston Churchill

If competitor is attacking your brand, you should strike back hard. Or better yet, strike first so that your competitors do not know what has happened. For majority of the brands, the competitive strategy is dead simple: your either premium or your cheap. Being in the middle is just waiting the death of your brand.

For the above-mentioned reasons I have started to love Lidl.

They stand for something, which is being cheap. Not being affordable or other jargon, which does not mean anything. They are cheap, cheaper and cheapest. That is simple to understand. Last week they were attacked with the new scheme from Morrison. That got quite a lot of press and buzz. This quote from their chief executive Dalton Phillips however puts things in perspective:

“We are not and will not become a discounter. Match & More is about neutralising on price so that the rest of our offer will really shine through. There are so many areas where discounters will never be able to compete with Morrison.”

So basically you do not even yourself know what you are?

I think the following rebuttal has way more clarity, wit and balls:

Lidl is The Most Authentic Brand

Lidl-Morrison 1-0.

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