Beer Marketing Awards: The Winners

By Pete Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Beer Marketing Awards: The Winners

Related tags Old speckled hen Advertising

There are many awards for the beer industry and they’re almost all for the product — and rightly so. But marketing is essential to brewers if they want to sell any liquid. Pete Brown examines the winners of the new Beer Marketing Awards.

Overall Winner

Winner:​ Fuller’s London Pride — ‘Made of London’


In the words of advertising legend Sir John Hegarty, "This was a campaign that was all about craft.” But he wasn’t talking about the much-debated use of the word in relation to beer; he was referring to the craft of great advertising: the reverence and care taken over design and composition, the elegance of the creative idea that ties back to the product and brand.

Best Branding or Design

Winner​: Beavertown


Beavertown’s bold designs of cans breaks every rule in the design book and succeed in revolutionising cans as a premium format.

Highly commended​: BrewDog, for a package redesign that subtly sees the punks mature and broaden their appeal.

Also shortlisted​: Crafty Dan from Thwaites Brewery.

Best Use of Merchandise

Winner:​ Extra Blond — ‘Vedett Extra’

Vedett takes merchandise to a new level with its ‘mini Mathon’, a kitsch machine that takes drinkers’ photos and instantly prints them on bespoke labels, giving you your own personal bottle of Vedett.

Highly commended​: Ales by Mail — ‘Beer Advent Calendar’, a simple, effective idea, well executed.

Best Print Advertising Campaign

Winner:​ Fuller’s London Pride — ‘Made of London’

An elegant, crafted campaign that succeeds in one of the most difficult jobs in beer marketing: representing a traditional, long-established brand as more modern and contemporary without abandoning its roots.

Also shortlisted:​ Belhaven Best — ‘To a Pint’; Old Speckled Hen — ‘Seek Out Something Different’.

Best Use of Sponsorship

Winner:​ Budweiser — ‘FA Cup Open Trials’

Football sponsorship has been done to death and Budweiser has struggled to seem like a credible brand in this area. The solution? A grassroots scheme giving talented players a second chance to get spotted and play for a league club. A perfect example of how the best sponsorship gives genuine value to the property being sponsored and the audience, as well as the brand.

Also shortlisted:​ Carling — ‘World Cup ITV Coverage’; Estrella Damm — ‘Gastronomy Congress’.

Best Public Relations Campaign

Winner:​ Greene King Old Speckled Hen — ‘Old Speckled Christmas’.

Providing a pop-up space for weary Christmas shoppers to have a beer and a slice of cake is a beautifully simple and inspired way of getting the brand talked about.

Also shortlisted​: Britain’s Beer Alliance — ‘There’s a Beer For That’; Marston’s Pedigree — ‘Making Local PR Count’.

Best Stunt or Event

Winner:​ Wychwood Hobgoblin — ‘Hobgoblin Roadshow’.

A combined social media, live roadshow and trade engagement programme folded into a national sampling programme unlike any other brand could, or would, do. Proving that even sampling can be a brand-building activity.

Also shortlisted:​ Greene King — ‘Charity Ball’; Sol — ‘Sol Street Food’.

Best Integrated Campaign

Winner:​ Marston’s Pedigree — ‘Live a Life of Pedigree’.

This campaign was integrated in every way: it targeted drinkers, pubs and stakeholders, aiming to rejuvenate the brand and restate its core values. It was the sheer number of layers to this campaign that won over judges.

Highly commended:​ Purity Brewing — ‘Cycling’.

Also shortlisted:​ Britain’s Beer Alliance — ‘There’s A Beer For That’.

Best Use of Social Media

Winner:​ BrewDog — ‘#MashTag’

The brand that built itself in social media still has an assured touch. #MashTag allowed fans to design a BrewDog beer for commercial launch. This generated conversation, relationships and demand.

Highly commended​: Trooper by Robinsons and Maiden Brews — ‘Trooper Tracker’, uses Iron Maiden fans to explain where to find the beer.

Also shortlisted:​ BeerBods — ‘#BeerBods’; Estrella — ‘#EstrellaLife’.

Best Business-to-Business Campaign

Winner:​ Heineken — ‘Our Shout’

Trade marketing is often the poor relation, an off-shoot of the main campaign idea given little thought. So it was a wonderful surprise when this category presented the most impressive shortlist and the most difficult decision when choosing a winner. Three outstanding campaigns each gave real benefit to the trade rather than talking down to them. Heineken eventually triumphed with a programme that rewards licensees for their custom with practical help such as setting up Facebook pages or advertising the pub in local media.

Highly commended​: Butcombe Bottle Ales — ‘Premium Bottled Ale Report’; Carlsberg — ‘Crafted’.

Best Use of Competitions

Winner:​ Thornbridge and Waitrose, with BrewUK — ‘Homebrew Challenge’.

It’s surprising that Thornbridge was the only entry in this category but it would have been very strong against stiff competition, creating a value chain from home brewer to retailer by giving a talented amateur a chance to brew and sell a beer commercially.

Best Broadcast Advertising Campaign

Winner:​ Shepherd Neame Spitfire — ‘Bottle of Britain’

Proving there is still a role for good old-fashioned, entertaining TV adverts, Shepherd Neame has succeeded in revitalising the campaign that made it a national brand but was increasingly showing its age. Now it feels fresh and funny again, relevant and appealing to 21st century drinkers.

Also shortlisted:​ Britain’s Beer Alliance — ‘There’s A Beer For That’; Old Speckled Hen — ‘Seek Out Something Different’.


“The principle behind the awards was to celebrate great marketing across the sector – regardless of whether you’re a mainstream lager brand creating a large scale TV advertising campaign or a microbrewer pouring creativity into social media. In the modern market it’s not enough to simply brew a great beer – it needs to be communicated and presented to the drinker in the most compelling and attractive way possible," said Pete Brown.

"The variety and breadth of brewers and ideas that make up our finalists demonstrated that creativity and effectiveness can come from a brewer of any size, with any budget.”

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