If you've never had the pleasure of drinking a Newcastle Brown Ale you might well think it's a heavy, bitter beer. You would also be dead wrong, Newcastle says—and the brand isn't afraid to call you on your bollocks opinion.
Newcastle Brown Ale
For years, beer and spirits brands steered clear of digital marketing and social media because of challenges in making sure posts do not break strict regulations by pitching underage consumers.
We're still technically more than a year away from the 2016 Super Bowl, but the first ad teaser is here. And of course, it's from Newcastle Brown Ale.
Newcastle just released its "Band of Brands" regional Super Bowl commercial, and it turns out Jockey, Boost Mobile, Lee Jeans, Brawny and Match.com are among the recognizable brands—along with some lesser-known ones—who are sharing the cost of the ad in exchange for a mention in it. Jockey is a particularly notable cameo, since, like Newcastle, it's a Droga5 client. If Jockey signing up was a favor to its agency, it was a worthwhile one—the briefs get a less-brief appearance (close-up product shot!) than many of the brands here.
So, this is why Newcastle Brown Ale hired Aubrey Plaza as its 2015 Super Bowl endorser: Her perma-sarcasm and lack of energy make her the world's worst spokeswoman—or if you like, the world's best anti-spokeswoman. The brewer and ad agency Droga5—who specialize in deflating marketing's overblown self-importance—continue their march toward the industy's most overblown, self-important night by having the Parks and Recreation actress sullenly and amusingly milk a cow. This part of the brand's email to us sums up the approach pretty well:
Recently, publishers started ditching their swanky Midtown New York offices for more cost-effective downtown digs. Now, it seems there's another shift happening as creative agencies join the migration.
Newcastle Brown Ale keeps finding new and interesting ways not to appear on the Super Bowl. This year it's already tried crashing the Doritos contest (sort of). And now it's gotten Aubrey Plaza on board to introduce a truly, audaciously stupid idea: getting small brands everywhere to all go in on a Super Bowl spot together. "Instead of blowing Newcastle's marketing budget, let's team up to blow all of our marketing budgets!" the 30-year-old Parks and Recreation star says in the video below about Newcastle's so-called "Band of Brands" idea.
You might remember Newcastle Brown Ale's antics around last year's Super Bowl—a little stunt from Droga5 called "If We Made It" that imagined what a Newcastle Super Bowl ad might have looked like if they could have afforded one. The whole thing went pretty well, to say the least. Given that success, Newcastle obviously had to screw with this year's game, too. And so it begins its 2015 Super Bowl ambush with the video below—in which the brewer, which still doesn't have $4 million lying around, pretends to crash a certain "Crash the Super Bowl" contest by a certain unnamed snack maker (OK, Doritos), so that it can get on the Super Bowl for free.
Newcastle has tapped Wil Wheaton as its latest anti-advertising star, enlisting the actor and Internet folk hero for a couple of amusing online videos introducing a new Scotch Ale. Wheaton does an amusing job of delivering the pitch under duress, as the Asylum production is self-consciously faux-low-budget. He's also a well-known home-brew geek, and mixes some knowledge in with the humor.