The biggest marketing event of last week so the announcement of the launch of the "UK's Strongest beer" from Scottish independent brewery Bew Dog. It has relaunched its Tokyo beer at a new high of 18.2% ABV. They saw it celebrates success but the launch as gained a back lash from many alcohol charities calling the launch irresponsible and wrong. The charities have of course missed the point. This launch has nothing to do with selling a few bottles of beer and everything to do with gaining profile for Brew Dog.
As a small independent brewery they operate in a market dominated by massive drinks conglomerates. These guys have marketing budgets in the multi millions which they happily spend on high profile tv campaigns, pub promos and supermarket promotions. So how do you compete with that if you are a small producer working on a small budget in Scotland. In the case of Brew Dog you think smart.
I first became aware of the brand when the two blokes who run it were on the BBC series Oz and James drink Britain. Rather than meeting Oz Clarke and James May in their brewery they met them in a Glasgow park and drank their beer out of brown paper bags as it was illegal to drink their in public. All very cool, all very publicity stunt. With the launch of Tokyo they have done it again. No millions spent but acres of publicity in national and trade press.
This is a great example that you don't have to have a lot of money to create a buzz you do however have to think creatively and that's no bad thing.