The Tasting Panel magazine

January/February 2015

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62  /  the tasting panel  /  january/february 2015 COVER STORY For Brett Steen, Brand Manager, Newcastle Brown Ale, and Betsy Paynter, HEINEKEN USA's Digital Media Manager, the choice is a natural evolution for the brand, especially given their history of being a "no bollocks" beer that has long been a favorite among the English working class, but that is seeing a strong following among Millennials in the U.S. "We are leaving traditional media behind. When we looked at what was having the biggest impact and gave us the best ability to geo-target and drill down to the exact demographic we are trying to reach, and we discovered that going 100% digital is our best bet," explains Steen. "It allows us to put enter- taining content in a place where it is incredibly easy for consumers to see it, be entertained by it and , most importantly, share it, so we can expand the reach of our campaigns.." Paynter adds, "The brand is well positioned to leverage social and digital media chan- nels that allow for organic conversation and engagement with our content." The Dawn of a New Era The 100% digital strategy began taking shape in 2014 with Newcastle's "If We Made It" campaign to coincide with the Superbowl, in which they poured their resources into a "mega-huge website we could afford for the mega-huge football game ad we couldn't afford." With advertising agency Droga5, Newcastle put out a series of short videos on a separate website,, that linked with a channel on YouTube. The series started with a storyboard rendition of all the amazing things they would have put into a Superbowl ad, if they had unlimited funds. Starring Anna Kendrick and Keyshawn Johnson, each video was a tongue-in-cheek nod to how ridiculously expensive Superbowl ads can be, especially for a smaller brand like Newcastle. They followed that with the Fourth of July "Independence Eve"–themed series "If We Won," a satirical look at "how great America would have been had Great Britain won the Revolutionary War"—this time starring British actor Stephen Merchant. Again, they launched Newcastle Brown Ale, one of HEINEKEN USA's portfolio brands, is serving something new for 2015 that will have other beverage companies taking notice: They are saying goodbye to television and print ads and going 100% digital for their advertising.

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