Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fun Grassroots Effort – Newcastle Ale Tries Some Smooth Moves

From how to survive a sunburn to how to properly grill a fruit pie, Newcastle Brown Ale has a few tips for celebrating the 94 days of summer. The top imported ale will share these tips with customers at 5,000 grocery stores, from May-July, via its “94 Days of Summer” guide. “Sam the Cooking Guy” from Discovery Health offers cooking tips while King’s Hawaiian, the Coleman Company and MovieTickets.com serve up discounts for summer fun.

Newcastle is no stranger to giveaways. To tout its “Smooth like no other” brand positioning, a team of “Smooth Operators” has been hitting bars all across the country. This grassroots promotion involves sampling efforts and interactive games to engage bar patrons in games like “spin the bottle.” Consumers who answer questions correctly about Newcastle win free prizes.

“Newcastle Brown Ale’s target audience is male consumers ages 21 to 35. This demographic tends to prefer premium items and enjoys a rich tasting, imported ale such as Newcastle,” says Katie Casey of Formula, the marketing firm that created the brand’s promotions. “Therefore it is only natural that our target consumer would gravitate towards premium giveaways such as our T-shirts and baseball caps.”
Smooth Operators also give out branded bottle openers, bottle light projectors, air fresheners and, where legal, free beer. “They are out there to educate the consumer about the taste and flavor of the beer,” Casey says.

Newcastle launched the program in 2005. It has grown threefold in size as last year, 4,500 promotions were held in 50 cities. The Smooth Operators connected with a quarter of a million customers in 2007 helping the brand exceed 6 million cases sold.

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