I recently read this great article on PR Breakfast Club. I never compared these two industries,but the more I think about it, the more I realize how similar they really are. According to Jeff Esposito, here are the Top 5 Ways that PR is like Brewing Beer:
- It takes time: Most of us enjoy drinking a beer, but do you really think about how long the brewing process takes? Beer takes a few days to several weeks to complete depending on the style. The fermentation process for lagers is longer than for ales because lagers use bottom-fermenting yeast, while ales ferment in shorter periods of time and use top-fermenting yeast. Public relations professionals often spend months or even years developing campaigns before they are launched.
- It is more work than the average person would think: To brew a great beer, brewers need to select high-quality ingredients as well as talented brewers. The most successful public relations campaigns involve a lot of planning from developing SMART objectives and developing strategies and tactics that meet those objectives.
- Is best in moderation: We all know what a night of drinking too much beer can turn our like. Too much PR can be ineffective-think of the media outlet that receive thousands of emails and calls a day from public relations people pitching their stories.
- Little things can derail a batch much like a campaign: Equipment that is not sterilized properly, bad yeast or brewing at the wrong temperature can all negatively affect the quality of the beer. You can still drink it, but it may not be the most appetizing. A campaign can take a wrong turn in an instant. For example, a celebrity spokesperson involved in legal trouble or a company CEO not taking speaking advice from his publicist can attract negative media attention.
- Both lead to drinking: How can you not try the product that you just put so much time and effort in to brewing? If you’ve ever worked in public relations, you know that this statement is true!
Photo Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org
In 2010, the Czech brewery, Pivovary Staropramen, celebrated its 140th birthday by launching a social media campaign-primarily through Facebook. Staropramen is a well-known Czech brewery. It is not quite as famous as Pilsner Urquell, but it’s definitely made a name for itself. Czech’s love beer, so as long as you have a good product, people will drink it. In fact, Czech’s population of about 11 million people drinks more beer per capita than any other nation.
This is actually my uncle’s(a resident of Prague) all-time favorite beer. Staropramen used to be significantly cheaper, so many Czechs were drawn to it. In Czech, Staropramen is still slightly cheaper; but a six-pack of Staropramen of Pilsner in the U.S. is around $9. I’ve had both the original Staropramen in Czech as well as the American version. The American version is pretty good, but it doesn’t taste quite the same. If you love beer like I do, than I would definitely look into visiting Prague on your next vacation. You won’t be disappointed and the beer is extremely cheap!
Here is one of the photos Staropramen used to get people involved in the scavenger hunt. Translation: “Looking for 140 self-cooling kegs.”
In order to celebrate it’s anniversary, the brewery hid 140 self-cooling kegs in 140 locations throughout Prague-the capital of the Czech Republic- and posted hints to it’s “friends” on Facebook. The hints ranged from simple clues to messages that had to be deciphered. Some of the hiding places were easy to find, while others took some time. In order to incorporate the brewery’s history, many of the hiding locations had to do with Staropramen’s history.
According to Eurocom Worldwide: The Global PR Network, “The campaign was so successful that, “The campaign won the Czech PR Award 2010 in the category new media and it was also shortlisted for the European SABRE Awards 2010 in the category digital PR.” Click here to read the full article.
The campaign evaluation reveals that Staropramen estimates “that the campaign value was approximately 25 times the amount invested.”
The only question I have is: did participants get to drink the beer that they found?
Brazil is famous for its Carnival, which is an annual four-day festival that begins on the Friday before Ash Wednesday. Celebrations vary by region. Most Americans are familiar with scantily clad women dressed in colorful, extravagant costumes. Parades led by dancers in the streets of Rio de Janeiro or Sau Paulo are frequently covered by the media. Tourists from around the world flock to Brazil to experience Carnival.
Photo Courtesy of the Sacramento Bee
Unfortunately, the media does not talk about some of the consequences associated with a nationwide festival and an abundance of booze. Drunk driving incidents skyrocket during this time of year according to the Ministry of Health. In attempt to reduce the number of drunk drivers, Companhia Antarctica Paulista,(this is a link to its Facebook page, they don’t have a U.S. website) a Brazilian brewery and soda manufacturer, developed an innovative new product. A beer can that doubled as a subway ticket.
The special beer can was designed to encourage Carnival goers to use the subway rather than drink and drive. According to PR Examples, “Fatal accidents caused by drink drivers increase by 50% at this time of year, and the stunt – as well as being great PR – reduced the number of drunk drivers caught after the event by 43%.”
I think this was a great PR move by Antarctica. It was the official beer sponsor of the Rio de Janeiro carnival. The beer company managed to make public transportation cool and helped to rectify a serious problem for Brazilian law enforcement. Consumers were intrigued by such as new concept and had to test out their metro”ticket.” Brilliant.
This campaign helped to generate media attention for Antarctica and was extremely successful in combating drinking and driving. About 1,000 people per hour went through the turnstyle in subway stations, which was an 86% increase than traditional turnstyles on the same day. Plus, all of the cans were recycled! I don’t think they could have developed a better campaign.
So, who wants to go to Carnival with me next year?
I came across this great article on Beer Street Journal. Anyone who wasn’t living under a rock in the 1990s remembers the song “Mmmbop” by Hanson. I think it was so popular my friend’s grandmother was singing it. I haven’t heard the name Hanson in about ten years, but it looks like they’re back- with some craft beers with the same name (almost).
I think it was a great public relations move on their part. Hanson created this product in celebration of the bands 21st anniversary as well as the release of their 6th album, Anthem (read more here). In lieu of the devastating tornados in the region, a portion of the proceeds will go to victims.
According to the Beer Street Journal, Mmmhops is brewed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma by Mustang Brewing.
Naturally, Hanson released the beer at a party for Hangover 3. I wonder if there is a cameo? The Hangover trilogy is extremely popular internationally and what better way to associate with the brand than to create an alchoholic beverage that could lead to a hellish hangover- much the like the characters experience in the films.
Maybe a new song for their product would generate some of the same success as Hanson’s 1997 hit. I can hear the melody already- maybe they can resurrect that yellow car (I think its a Volkswagen), do some awkward dance moves and produce another trippy video. I’d watch it- I mean come on, have you seen them all grown up?
All I can say is what a great way to generate media attention for a band that no one has talked about in years. I’m really interested to see what Hanson will do once this beer is fully released. This whole thing seems like a PR stunt to me, but who knows I guess. Maybe Hanson really is passionate about beer, but I think theres more to it than that.
So I say run with this. I think Hanson should attend some beer events this summer- maybe even perform while they’re there- put out some new songs and record a new music video!
So, when can you buy Mmmhops at your local liquor store? The official release date is scheduled for June. I’d be willing to give it a try. What about you?