BrewDog are well know for their marketing; you can think what you like about them, while it does result in both positive and negative column inches, it has also produced a loyal following. So I took the news that Diageo had forced the British Institute of Innkeeping to give the Bar Operator of the Year 2012 to someone other than BrewDog, or loose all future sponsership, with a rather large truck load of salt.
I did think there maybe some substance behind it, mainly due to the language that was being used in their blog. You don’t really want to be coming out with that kind of rhetoric if it’s not true, espcially as you’ll probably have to back it up in court, Diageo have a rather active legal department after all. Then there was the social media shit storm they kicked up, Andy Parker has analysed the Twitter side of things quite susinctly.
Even so, it was with quite a bit of surprise that Diageo issued a press release, appologising for a serious misjudgement by Diageo staff at the awards dinner. It’s staggering to think that any sponsor of an independent awards, would act in this way, especially given the social media nous of their target.
I imagine that James and Martin were dancing round the brewery this afternoon, unable to believe their luck. All their hair brained marketing schemes of old wont have had the impact or the reach of this incident and they didn’t have to do anything, other than spin it the right way on Twitter and Facebook. After seeing it explode into the main stream press and onto evening telly, they must have felt like they’d won a triple roll over on the lottery, along with their birthday and Christams all rolled into one.
Money and planning can’t buy publicity like this, Diageo should be ashamed of themselves.