This Scottish Brewer’s Jarring Ad During Game of Thrones May Be One of the Most Honest You’ll See

BrewDog and London agency Uncommon keep it punk … and simple

We're pretty sure this is an ad. BrewDog
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Game of Thrones fans in the U.K, unfortunately, don’t have it easy; they’re forced to stay up until 2 a.m. each week if they want to catch the show when it first airs, or else risk running into spoilers. Fortunately for advertisers, the U.K. version of the show on Sky Atlantic includes an ad break, which brands are more than happy to take advantage of each week.

Scottish craft beer company BrewDog took the opportunity to promote its Punk IPA during this week’s episode via a 30-second spot that’s very … loud, in more ways than one.

The jarring spot was created by Uncommon, the shop formed by ex-Grey London leaders Natalie Graeme, Lucy Jameson and Nils Leonard in 2017. The agency and brand are somewhat self-importantly referring to it as “the most honest ad you might ever see.” They say it comes as a result of a “new and unconventional approach” that’s rooted in shunning the usual advertising tropes that are all too common within the beer category (and which Bud Light made fun of a few years back).

The hope is that viewers will appreciate Brewdog’s willingness to strip the bells and whistles and simply advertise a product.

“The ad break in GoT is one of the most prestigious media slots in the cultural calendar. Brands often spend big here, investing in massive narratives and slick films often referencing the show they sit around. So we didn’t,” said Leonard. “The magazine you notice on a busy shelf is the one with the least on the cover. Ad breaks for shows this big are a jazz salad of messages, so we set out to make the simplest, most honest message we could.”

James Watt, co-founder at BrewDog, described the work as being “the exact opposite of what convention and rules expect.” The campaign will run across TV, cinema, out-of-home and social.

“Only 14% of the U.K. population has discovered craft beer, [so] there’s a huge untapped market,” said Watt. “The craft beer revolution will only take hold if we convince the world to ditch the mainstream and embrace the alternative. We don’t want to live in a world dominated by bad beer any more than you want to live in one with lame advertising. So we have drawn a line in the sand with this new campaign.”


Client: BrewDog

Creative Agency: Uncommon Creative Studio
Music Supervision: Harley Beckmann Hawksley, Theodore


Sound: Jack Sedgwick, WAVE Studios

Post: Absolute

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@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.