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Newcastle Brown 'crowdsources' ad

News, 13 January 2015
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NEW YORK: With 30-second network ad spots during Super Bowl 2015 costing $4.5m, beer brand Newcastle Brown Ale is inviting other brands unable to afford this amount to club together to make an impact

"We don't have the money to advertise the normal way, so we found a clever way around it," said Charles van Es, head of marketing for Heineken USA's portfolio of brands, which includes Newcastle.

"With the whole world going to crowdsourcing these days, we figured we could crowdsource an ad," he told the New York Times.

To that end it has created an online video featuring Aubrey Plaza, star of NBC comedy Parks and Recreation, in which she makes an offhand pitch to other brands to join forces: "We can help your brands sell tons of whatever the (bleep) your brands sell," before adding that "football is a team sport, now advertising is too."

The tone echoes the beer brand's foray into this area last year, when its If We Made It campaign mirrored the approach of other brands in the build-up to the Super Bowl, including behind the scenes interviews, films of focus group responses and a trailer – all for an ad it never made because, it claimed, it couldn't afford to.

"You don't need the dinosaur channels like television anymore," van Es explained. "We're in a new age. You can use digital and get the same buzz."

Accordingly Newcastle Brown Ale says it is seeking between 20 and 30 brands to join it in a "Band of Brands" campaign, with these paying for their logos and messages to be incorporated in a spot that will be shown online and on local NBC television markets during the game.

That may or may not actually happen in the next three weeks but the real campaign is already under way as the idea generates social media comment and PR coverage.

Data sourced from New York Times, Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff

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