Newcastle Finds a Cheeky Way to Celebrate the Fourth of July

The Redcoats get revenge

Headshot of Tim Nudd

British brands, understandably, don't have much to say around the Fourth of July—until now. Newcastle Brown Ale, among the cheekiest of U.K. marketers, has turned America's most patriotic holiday to its advantage by inventing a new, completely made-up holiday: Independence Eve on July 3. The idea of the tongue-in-cheek campaign, created by Droga5, is to "honor all things British that Americans gave up when they signed the Declaration of Independence," Newcastle says.

To mark the new holiday, the brewer is introducing the "Revolutionary Koozie," which will be handed out at bars around the country this evening. It features the British flag on one side and the American flag on the other. At the stroke of midnight, you're encouraged to turn your beer 180 degrees and go "from honorary British subject to proud American with the twist of a fist." The campaign extends to digital with a transformation of the brand's Facebook page and a series of daily GIFs highlighting the differences "between British America and American America."

"Newcastle is a very British beer, and needless to say, it doesn't sell that well on July 4. So why not establish it as the beer you drink on July 3?" says Charles van Es, senior director of marketing for Heineken USA portfolio brands. "Unlike the Redcoats in the 18th century, we're picking our battles a little more wisely. By celebrating Independence Eve, we're taking liberties with America's liberty to create a new drinking occasion and ensuring freedom on July 4 tastes sweeter than ever."

Van Es adds: "Like Cinco de Mayo or Thanksgiving Wednesday, Independence Eve is just another excuse to enjoy good times with good friends, but now with a new purpose. On July 3, we're lifting a Newcastle to our British heritage and the American freedom we all appreciate."

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.