Last month, we celebrated the very best marketing in the beer and cider industries. Winning campaigns, designs and leadership initiatives were all impressive and marked the on-going evolution of the sectors as we know it, writes Kara Duggan…
I love an awards party; they’re a great chance to get out and meet or catch up with others in your industry, celebrate your hard work, your client campaigns and of course, there’s usually some pretty great food and drink on offer. Beyond that, awards provide a chance to take a step back and look at the progression of a category or consumer behaviours and understanding and really take stock. The world of beer and cider certainly faces a few challenges, but the biggest thing that hit me at The Beer and Cider Marketing Awards, was how diverse the products were, and I was really pleased to see this mirrored in the audience.
When you think of a drinks category, there’s usually a stereotype lingering – think tequila and shots, gin and tears, whisky and old men; some of these have been banished, and some are very much still on people’s lips. So, what do people think about beer and cider? For some, beer is a man’s drink to be enjoyed in his local pub surrounded by his friends, for others cider is a drink for sunny days in the garden – a glass loaded with ice and something very sweet. For many though, these drinks are carefully crafted liquids, leading innovation in the broader drinks sphere, and are perfectly paired with food -enjoyed by men and women of all ages (over 18 of course!).
Pete Brown, award-winning writer and one of the brains behind the awards, opened the evening with an inspiring overview of the brewing world today, championing those in the community who are dedicated to education, innovation and excellence. Of course he outlined the challenges we also face, including tax, regulation, changing consumer behaviours in the on and off-trade and what the future holds. Pete welcomed the cider making and marketing community – the first time cider had been included in the awards and reflected on the point in his career he decided to start exploring cider. He explained that, at first, both the beer and cider communities were confused by his move as they viewed themselves as very separate, though given time, the alliance of the categories has been a fruitful exercise.
And so, it was time for the awards. Fleet Street Communications was a very proud awards partner and sponsor of the corporate social responsibility award – the first of the evening – and presented BrewGooder with its very well deserved award. FSC associate director, Tess Pennington was on the panel of judges and hailed Brewgooder’s work as genius: a simple idea implemented perfectly – donating 100% of its profits to clean water projects around the world.
Big winners of the evening included Camden Town Brewery and There’s a Beer for That, both of whom impressed the judges with powerful consumer outreach and pioneering marketing strategies.
One thing I have learned during my time in the industry, is that these guys know how to put on a party, and the Beer and Cider Marketing Awards did not fail me. On reflection, the evening was a total celebration of the sectors and the very talented people working within them. We’re in very good shape judging from the work that was championed and rewarded and appear well-set for the future.
Pete Brown opened the evening talking about how much can change in 12 months and reminding us of the conversations we were having this time last year. He listed a few political shockers that no-one saw coming – I’m sure you can all think of the main two. He’s right – a lot change in a short year so it’ll be interesting to see where we stand this time next year…
Head to the official website for a full list of Beer and Cider Marketing Awards winners: https://www.bestofbeerandcider.com/
Follow me on Twitter: @KaraDuggan