Newcastle’s “No Bollocks” Campaign Promotes Brand Honesty

It is almost wrong that I’m writing this since I love Newcastle Brown Ale, but whatever – somebody has to do it. On a completely different, unbiased note, Droga5 is doing content marketing for Newcastle and I guess they’re doing it pretty well because “nothing sells beer like old footage of people who had it way worse than you do”. But seriously, that’s what the ad says.

Even though Newcastle is brewed by Heineken, it has a completely different scent to it. When I was in former Heineken’s brewery, now a museum in Amsterdam, Dutch people laughed and pointed fingers at me when I asked for a Newcastle after a tour. Just to change turn of events, few weeks ago in New York I asked for a “Newkie” and bartender told me to stop acting like a foreigner because he could recognize my Chicaaah-goh accent. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that. Without further sharing my beer storytelling and sounding like an alcoholic, I will tell you this: Just because one company owns another, it doesn’t mean that they have the same brand values.

Now, here’s a catch. English brewery, owned by a Dutch brewery. Two brands, one owner. How can both brands benefit from each other and progress on the competitive market? It’s kind of like Game Theory 101 class. One with the dominant strategy wins. As you can see, mocking competitors is not only pretty much funny but also gets people to try the “funny guys'” brand. Content marketing is doing miracles for Newcastle I’m sure, but it also explains more about the culture of the brand, and what they are really all about.

The campaign itself promotes honesty. TV spots are based on still photos with music dazzling in the back and a British-sounding speaker taking about how their beer is hand crafted by master brewers and hand Photoshopped by underpaid interns. This tells you a little bit about general audience that they are trying to reach. As a future intern myself, I will go and get a six-pack of Newkie when I’m done with this.

“While other beer brands may over-promise fame, fortune or glory, Newcastle Brown Ale offers the truth,” commented Charles van Es, Brand Director of Newcastle Brown Ale. “Newcastle won’t make you more popular, better looking or the funniest person in the room – it can’t. It’s a beer. But it is a refreshingly delicious beer.” He also noted: “We’re excited to introduce our new can because that means that more people across the country will get to enjoy refreshing Newcastle Brown Ale in places that don’t allow bottles. In other words, it will be good for business.”

As you might have imagined, this campaign is all over social media. Check it out on Facebook, Twitter (#nobollocks) and Youtube.

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