What Would Your Craft Beer Commercial Look Like?

by Karl | Updated: September 29, 2010

This video might be old news to some of you, but don’t worry, this is not a post announcing its release. I’d actually like your input.

The guys over at New Brew Thursday recently released this craft beer promotional video that’s been spreading across the beer interwebs. I watch almost every video by NBT and as a fellow video blogger, I am constantly impressed by their production quality.  I gave myself a hearty pat on the back when I figured out in iMovie how to get my site’s name to show up in my YouTube videos. These guys are obviously pros.

When it comes to the video’s content however, there’s been some debate. Most notably by Alan at A Good Beer Blog and Todd Alstrom of Beer Advocate. I agree with some of what they say, but this post isn’t about criticizing the video. Steven with NBT did a great job and probably spent countless hours on this project for a website that I don’t *think* is his main source of income.

Rather, the video got me thinking. It got me thinking about how we can best advertise craft beer to the mainstream.

So let’s make our own commercial, you and me. Its goal is to convert Bud/Miller/Coors drinkers to craft beer.

We’re going to air it during a Monday night NFL game – prime BMC viewership time. The target market will be symbolized by our viewer, Average Joe. Average Joe is a 34 year old accountant living in Washington D.C. He’s a loyal Bud Light drinker and cheers for the Washington Redskins, an all too-common affliction brought on by an unfortunate drop on the head as an infant.

Joe has heard about “microbrews,” but doesn’t see why he should pay more to switch from his dependable Bud Light.

My Commercial

What’s your commercial going to look like? I’ll use the New Brew Thursday video for comparison here just because it makes things easier. I think they did a great in some areas and could improve in others.

Connect with them
If you want to sell an idea, you have to tell a story of how life will look after drinking your beer, buying your product, hiring your firm, etc. My biggest beef with the video is the context. I’m sure this was just a matter of cost and convenience, but hey, we’re making a fictional commercial here.

The settings included stainless steel fermenters, a room full of oak barrels, and tulip glasses. These are not everyday encounters for Average Joe. In fact they give a feel of elitism – something that will not appeal to Joe.

Here’s my theme: show everyday craft beer drinkers – other Average Joes. Show that you can replace macro beer with craft beer in every setting. Show an Average Joe drinking a Prima Pils while fishing, ordering a Two Hearted Ale at the bar, and then drinking a Raging Bitch with his friends while watching the Redskins blow the big game.

Craft beer will succeed if we can show that it can be part of every day life. It’s not part of some inner circle where you need to wear a mask and say the secret password for access.

Make it  fun
My girlfriend was watching the video with me and at the end she said, “Why is it so sentimental? It’s just beer.”

She’s right. Appealing to the tender side of people won’t win them over to craft beer. Yes, I (and probably you) are very passionate about craft beer. We love that brewers put their hearts and souls into their product, but that’s not going to win people over.

The tone and music in the video makes you think it’s an awareness campaign for genocide, or aids, or domestic violence. This is beer. We need something fun and upbeat. Suggestions?

Appeal to their emotions
People buy on emotion. Appealing purely to logic won’t seal the deal. I give the video props for invoking emotion – that we are being lied to by the mega breweries, that this is David vs. Goliath, and that passion matters. I’d add to that and hit on other emotions, such as people’s desire to fit in. They don’t want to be the weirdo outcast drinking microbrew. Show them how popular it’s becoming, and that they can join the club.

Your turn

So how would your commercial look? What images, sounds, and settings would you use to get Average Joe to give up his Bud Light and switch to a microbrew?

Cheers to Steven and New Brew Thursday for going above and beyond in their craft beer advocacy.

Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy.