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May 22, 2007
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Experience at heart of beer trial




Scottish & Newcastle (S&N), the UK’s leading producer of beer and cider, is putting £7 million behind this year’s version of The Biggest Round – its national brand experience initiative – as the brewer continues to make face-to-face multi-brand consumer trial a growing focus of its marketing efforts. What’s more, like many experiential campaigns, The Biggest Round lies at the centre of a marketing strategy with other disciplines – in this case incentive vouchers and online activity – playing a supporting role.
 
Managed for the third year running by BEcause Experiential Marketing (formerly LoewyBe), The Biggest Round aims to introduce over one million consumers to new S&N drinks by the end of the summer.



Mines a different pint: An S&N brand advocate in action


The national campaign is running simultaneously in the on-trade, off-trade and at convenience stores. At each selected outlet, teams of trained S&N brand advocates from BEcause are engaging consumers in individual conversations about their taste preferences, before persuading them to try something new with a free drink from a selection of leading S&N brands.
 
Pubs and clubs
The on-trade campaign involves 6,000 events at pubs and clubs across the country, promoting a total of 10 draught and bottled S&N UK brands: John Smiths, Fosters, Fosters Twist, Bulmers Original, Strongbow, Strongbow Sirrus, Kronenbourg 1664, Kronenbourg Blanc, San Miguel and Jacques.   
 
On pre-advertised promotional nights, The Biggest Round team circulates within selected outlets, chatting to consumers and helping them choose which S&N brand they would like to try, courtesy of the brewer. The brand advocates then collect the drinks from the bar and serve them professionally in branded glasses at the table. Triallists are all given a money-off voucher against their next purchase of that brand. The vouchers also offer the chance to enter an online prize draw for cash prizes totalling £10,000.
 
Supermarkets and off licences

The off-trade campaign is running for over 2,000 store days in supermarkets and off-licences, promoting six S&N UK brands: Bulmers Original, Strongbow Sirrus, Jacques, Foster’s Twist, Kronenbourg Blanc and Kronenbourg Premier Cru.  Here, Brand Advocates are operating from in-store sampling points, discussing individual’s taste preferences, before offering a suitable S&N brand and suggesting foods to compliment its flavour.
 
Commenting on the campaign, James Brown, customer marketing manager – consumer trial, said: “The Biggest Round is far more sophisticated in both its planning and implementation than a traditional sampling campaign – it is a highly personalised and interactive programme, tailored to suit individual needs. The campaign received fantastic feedback last year, and we’re confident it will be even more successful in 2007.”
 
Brands that engage effectively with customers and fire their imagination stand more chance of being successful, according to Alison Nolan, head of the S&N account at BEcause. “Today’s consumers quickly decide which brands they want to interact with and which they are going to ignore,” she said. “Those that succeed in the future will be those who talk with consumers, rather than at them.  That individual approach is the key to the on-going success of this campaign.”
 
Last year’s Biggest Round campaign reached more than 850,000 consumers.


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