Newcastle Puts the Emphasis on ‘Smooth’

LOS ANGELES VitroRobertson’s outdoor effort for Newcastle Brown Ale tackles the perception that dark brews go down rough.

The work is tagged “Smooth like no other” and debuts Aug. 15. Images include a coiled snake and a golf swing.

Tom Carroll, managing supervisor of the San Diego-based agency, declined to disclose the budget, but characterized the push as “the biggest outdoor effort we’ve ever had and the largest spend.” Newcastle spent $2 million on ads last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

K.T. Thayer, creative director, said, “We were emphasizing the strategic benefit, that Newcastle Brown is full flavor but easy to drink, dark beer that drinks like a lager.”

He added, “We didn’t want to just say ‘smooth,’ because so much sweaty-bottle advertising says that. We wanted to hint about the personality, that it’s flavorful, smooth and conveyed in a way that only Newcastle could” and emphasize the “irresistible elements.”

The campaign will run through Dec. 15 in select markets, including Sacramento, Calif., San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif., Phoenix, Minneapolis, Charlotte, N.C., and Charleston, S.C.

The initiative targets men between 21 and 34 years old.

Newcastle earlier this year surpassed Bass Pale Ale, distributed by InBev, Norwalk, Conn., as the largest-selling imported ale, and is closing in on Foster’s for the No. 10 slot among all imports, per Beer Marketer’s Insights.

“Our last campaign, ‘Full flavored, yet easy to drink,’ did a tremendous job of raising awareness for the brand and promoting its unique attributes among darker ales,” said Steve Greig, customer marketing director at importer Scottish & Newcastle in San Rafeal, Calif. “The ‘Smooth like no other’ campaign uses figures [that] personify smooth to further emphasize the brand’s unconventional appeal.”

—with Brandweek staff reports