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Hedgehog Hall of Fame: Manifest - BrewDog vs. Diageo

28th August 2013


Company: Manifest London Campaign: BrewDog vs. Diageo Category: Social Media Campaign of the Year - South - Shortlisted Objective In May 2012, global drinks giant Diageo abused its position as the principle sponsor for the relatively low-profile BII Scotland annual awards to strip selected winners, BrewDog of the title, ‘Bar Operator of the Year 2012’. Following the awards show, BrewDog armed Manifest with the story and set them the task of making it a PR opportunity. The principal objective was to turn this negative incident into a vehicle to raise awareness of BrewDog outside the traditional craft beer community. Target Audience  Rather than simply announce the story to the press, Manifest turned to the BrewDog online community to amplify the story before then using this social media backlash to optimise the coverage potential offline. Action Manifest an organised and creative (and bold) photo shoot at the BrewDog Camden bar with its staff in a variety of shots sticking their middle finger up at Diageo – these were intended for social media success, as well as traditional media coverage. The photos accompanied a written statement, which was hosted on the agency’s proprietary DigitalNewsroom platform detailing the full story and urging the BrewDog community to respond directly to Diageo using the hashtag #andthewinnerisnot. A blogpost was published on BrewDog.com to optimise the potential of inbound links. The story was shared via Twitter and Facebook urging the community to make a point and tweet at Diageo using #andthewinnerisnot. An emphasis was placed on making fun of the drinks giant, as humour was essential in attracting a broader audience. Once the story had gained traction online within the community, Manifest pitched the story (along with sharing statistics from social media) to key contacts including business press, news media, broadcast and trade press. Media coverage was then shared online to further momentum, which in turn generated media follow-up stories. Results The #andthewinnerisnot tag trended in the UK within 20 minutes and worldwide within five hours. The total number of mentions reached more than 500,000. BrewDog Twitter followers increased by 1500 in one day. 11,628 people tweeted at @BrewDog directly in one day.   The DigitalNewsroom received a spike of 13,412 unique visitors and 1,014 inbound links in 24 hours and as a result of the campaign, when you Googled “Diageo” even up to a month after the event, the BrewDog website was second and the DigitalNewsroom was sixth in results. The 170 pieces of coverage received, amounted to 74,872,778 opportunities to see, including the Financial Times (front page), The Sun, Telegraph, Times, Express, Observer, Star, Metro, Huffington Post and Herald. The total AVE over the week reached £456,000, 182 times the fee paid to Manifest for the entire month. Broadcast coverage included BBC News in Scotland, STV, CNBC and Channel 4 news interviewing BrewDog, and BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours making it a headline ten-minute feature. Diageo posted a response in the form of an ‘unreserved apology’ on their website (the only such statement we are aware of from the drinks giant) and the award was given in retrospect back to BrewDog – giving the community a collective success story that still gains mentions today. Marketing Week, PR Week and Metro also ran articles praising the PR response from BrewDog. BrewDog.com experienced more than a 1000 per cent increase in traffic on its daily average, which has maintained a permanent increase due to improved SEO ever since. The PRmoment Golden Hedgehog Awards 2014 are now open for entries. Here are this years updated categories.

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