Newcastle takes a shot at other brands trying too hard

Heineken's Newcastle Brown Ale has launched a campaign about the Super Bowl ad it could have made - but didn't - as part of its No Bollocks initiative.

WHITE PLAINS, NY: Heineken's Newcastle Brown Ale has launched a campaign about the Super Bowl ad it could have made – but didn't – as part of its No Bollocks initiative.

The If We Made It effort pokes fun at some of the “over-the-top, trying-too-hard marketing that typically takes place around the big game,” says Tara Rush, senior director of communications at Heineken.

Showcasing Newcastle's “refreshingly honest” approach, the digital campaign includes videos of actress and singer Anna Kendrick and former professional football player Keyshawn Johnson talking about the commercial the brand could have made for the Super Bowl.

On the website, the brand has posted a number of videos, including teasers and behind-the-scenes looks at the spot that would have been. It has uploaded 10 videos to the site, and it plans to post more in the coming days as well as Super Sunday, said Quinn Kilbury, brand director for Newcastle at Heineken USA.

Droga5 created the videos for Newcastle. The firm will also work with the brand on real-time social media efforts during the Super Bowl.

“Digital content is the foundation for the campaign,” said Rush, “but we see PR amplification as that crucial element to drive views for all of the great videos we have with [Kendrick] and [Johnson]."

She added that Fast Horse is handling all PR and media relations for the Newcastle program, telling the brand's story as widely as possible in national print, broadcast, and radio outlets.

Newcastle scheduled a full day of interviews with Kendrick in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and the Oscar-nominated actress appeared on Conan on Tuesday and talked about key messages behind the campaign, said Rush. Johnson will also do a radio media tour for the initiative.

Kilbury said the goal of the campaign, and the mandate for Newcastle's agencies, was to help the brand take over the discussion around the Super Bowl.

“We're not looking to get the highest-rated 30-second spot,” he explained. “We want to be integral to the social conversation, and the way to do that is through a lot of content and engaging conversation.”

During the game, the brand's team, Droga5, and Newcastle media planning and buying agency MediaVest will come together to work on real-time social media content. Rush said PR is highly integrated into social, so Fast Horse will contribute to those efforts.

The brand will also have members of its legal department in the room, as well as a representative from Twitter on the phone to help with best practices and guidelines for using the platform.

Rush said Newcastle is looking to engage consumers in a “fun, witty, and honest” way and own the earned media conversation by responding in real-time to events throughout the game.

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