Most beer sales folks we talk to understand this basic idea immediately. It's in their DNA. But when you look at some of the advertising being done these days--even for big brands with huge budgets, like Bud Light, for example--it's quickly apparent that putting the "dramatize distinctiveness" mandate into practice is difficult for some, and impossible for others.
We're pretty sure we know why.
The whine of the "creative" people
All through our years in the advertising business, we encountered a very predictable response from many creative people whose job it is to conjure up the ads. Confronted with the challenge to create advertising featuring facts about a beer's distinctiveness, they would gasp in horror. "You mean you want boring advertising?" In their minds, it seemed, facts about the beer would only get in the way of whatever brilliant, usually expensive-to-produce, entertainment-based idea they favored bringing to life at their client's expense.
How else to account for this sort of cinematic ad, one of many oddball, movie-like Heineken ads a few years back? It's all someone's idea of "entertainment value," but just try and find one fact about Heineken beer in this ad, I dare you...
Worse, these same marketing executives will stand on a stage and tell their assembled distributors and sales people to push the brand at retail because their "creatively brilliant" ads will work. Inevitably, it becomes obvious they don't work. But by then, the marketing guy has usually moved on to another job, and the whole matter is quietly swept under the rug in the corporate suite.
Don't tell Heineken selling distinctiveness must be boring
Either Heineken's new marketing executives or the creative people at their ad agency--perhaps both--know better. Their challenge? Sell the distinctiveness of the yeast used to brew Heineken beer. What?!? Lesser creative people would've certainly whined about being asked to make boring advertising. But in place of, in the words of the ad, "telling another cliched beer-brewer's story," this team of ad people chose a route true to their job title: creative. In other words, they took this relevant bit of product-fact-based distinctiveness, and added the unexpected.
Watch as A-yeast meet A-creativity....
With more truly brilliant work like this--and more of the turnaround sales results that have already been posted for the brand--we expect the celebration will go on and on.