I’m very proud to announce (after a false start a couple of years ago, the launch of the Beer Marketing Awards.
There are plenty of awards schemes – and rightly so – that celebrate excellence in brewing. But few great beers sell themselves. We’re not just talking about glossy TV campaigns for lager brands, influential though they are – label design, social media presence, stunts, events and merchandising are all important in making sure beer gets noticed and bought by the people who want it.
The awards are open to all brewers with a presence and focus in the UK – and their agencies. The awards will recognise excellence in the following categories:
• Best advertising campaign – print
• Best advertising campaign – broadcast
• Best use of social media
• Best branding / design
• Best public relations campaign
• Best use of competitions
• Best integrated campaign
• Best stunt / guerrilla marketing
• Best B2B campaign
• Best website
• Best use of sponsorship
• Best use of merchandise
From these, an overall winner will be announced as well as an award for ‘Outstanding Individual achievement’, which will highlight the individual who, in the minds of the judges, has had the most impact in the way beer is marketed in the UK.
The judges, led by me, will include leading on- and off-trade operators, beer journalists, bloggers and award-winning marketeers.
The reason I think this is such a powerful idea is that there is currently no awards scheme that is relevant to every single brewer in the industry, nothing that brings them all together. The idea of this competition is that it celebrates ALL beer. Irrespective of the size of your budget, there’s a category that’s relevant to you – there are obviously some categories here that are out of reach of small micros. But there are others where micros are currently succeeding much better than the big boys. The overall competition is about celebrating creativity at all levels, and any category winner, large or small, could walk away with the top prize.
There’s been a great deal of debate recently about various aspects of beer marketing, from corporate campaigns to controversial use of sexist imagery and language. It seems particularly important in light of this to celebrate the very best work that brewers and their marketers do, and hopefully inspire those who are not so good to up their game.
This may sound naggingly familiar to long-time readers of this blog. That’s because we first announced this idea in August 2012. Back then, in retrospect, we had neither the time nor the right people on the team to make it work properly. We postponed the event when we realised we’d double-booked it with at least one other leading industry event, and lost momentum. But the idea was too good to let go, and we have fixed those problems. The team behind these awards now has all the skills necessary to make it happen. Just to be sure, we have waited until we have confirmed the date and venue, secured some of our sponsors and most of our judges before making this announcement.
Entries are open from now until 23rd January 2015. Details of how to enter can be found at
Winners will be announced at an event on 14th April 2015 at the Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London. Tickets to this event are available to anyone interested in coming along. It most definitely will not be a black tie event. Sponsorship of individual categories is also available to any company wishing to have a profile at the event. Details of all of this are available via the contact form at the above website.
Finally, here are two old beer TV ads that sum up why I want to do this and why I think it’s so important. The first is, for me, the perfect beer ad. The second is something I found while researching a talk this year on the history of beer advertising.