British Beer Hijacks Fourth of July

Independence Day is upon us…and so are the British. Britain’s own Newcastle Brown Ale has decided to hijack the Fourth of July and use it as a clever marketing opportunity. July 3 has been deemed ‘Independence Eve’ by the company who encourages everyone to ‘enjoy American freedom by celebrating British rule.’

Newcastle’s agency Droga5 is promoting the campaign across multiple platforms. It is being marketed through print ads, daily GIFs, Tweets, Facebook updates and Revolutionary Koozies: foam beer holders which feature the British flag on one side and the American flag on the other. At midnight tonight, Americans are encouraged to turn their beer 180 degrees and go “from honorary British subject to proud American with the twist of a fist.”

Understandably, Newcastle’s bold move to capitalize on this American holiday takes 100% commitment. The company’s Twitter feed has featured #IndependenceEve for four days, informing followers of the new holiday. Newcastle also transformed its Facebook page and displayed a new image every day highlighting the differences between British America and American America.

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“Newcastle is a very British beer and needless to say, it doesn’t sell that well on July 4th,” said 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 4th tastes sweeter than ever.”

Pairing British beer and America’s Independence Day is almost unheard of. However, Newcastle and Droga5 made it work with a creative concept and innovative marketing strategy. We’ll see tonight if the campaign pays off, but even if it doesn’t, Newcastle found a way to market its British beer to Americans on July 4—that is a success in itself.

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