Genesee Feeling Divinely Inspired

Ground Zero’s ‘Beer God’ Delivers the Word on Honey Brown Lager
LOS ANGELES–A tiki-like deity serves as spokesman in a new campaign for Genesee Brewing Co.’s Honey Brown Lager.
The work is Ground Zero’s first for the Rochester, N.Y.-based regional brewer since winning the estimated $3-5 million account earlier this year, without a review [Adweek, March 16].
“We decided that divine endorsement would be the best way for Honey Brown Lager to cut through the competitive clutter, and that no less a divinity than ‘the beer god’ should be Honey Brown Lager’s spokesman,” said Andrew Gledhill, the Santa Monica, Calif., agency’s head of planning.
The TV spots are nearly identical, opening with the stone tiki turning around to face the viewers and urging them, in loud, clipped English, to buy Honey Brown Lager. “This Fourth of July, if you drink Honey Brown Lager, 6 percent chance of precipitation,” warns the beer god. “If you drink other beer, 90 percent chance of precipitation.”
The humorous ads each end with the line, “The beer god has spoken,” as the tiki slowly turns back to its original position.
In addition to TV spots, the campaign includes point-of-sale, promotions, radio and outdoor advertising, all of which utilize the tiki character.
“All of this really lends strength to the campaign, and our Honey Brown Lager distributors … have been very supportive of what we’re doing,” said Hugh Crossin, Genesee’s vice president of marketing.
The campaign is running in scattered markets throughout the Northeast, including Buffalo, N.Y., and as far west as Denver. It will continue through the end of the year, and will include other seasonal executions similar to the Fourth of July spot.
Founded 120 years ago in Rochester, N.Y., the Genesee Brewery is one of the country’s largest family-operated regional brewers. It markets Genesee Beer, Cream Ale and Genny Light under its corporate banner and J.W. Dundee’s Honey Brown Lager and Honey Light through HighFalls Brewing Co., its speciality brewing subsidiary.