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Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Brewery Video as Branding

One other thing I meant to mention in that Sixpoint post yesterday was the staggering success the brewery had in getting out the 3Beans video.  It's been seen by 270,000 people.  Breweries have been trying to use video as a part of marketing and branding for about half a decade, but they've never really taken off.  New Belgium has nearly a hundred videos that have collectively been viewed only 414,000 times.  Sierra Nevada has eight videos that have been viewed just a paltry 11,000 times.  (And they have some pretty cool ones, too (though I think, admittedly, that these were posted on the website not as Youtube videos and probably got a lot more views).  As far as I can tell, Deschutes, which produced a racy music-vid type promo (great song by the Cave Singers)--controversial, lauded, and risky--that almost no one saw (Youtube, Vimeo).

So how is it that Sixpoint pulled this off?  Why haven't other breweries been able to capture that same kind of brand lighting in a beer bottle?

Update.  Gary Fish and Jason Randles, commenting in tandem, report that the Deschutes video was indeed more widely-seen than it currently appears.  Here's why (from Gary):
I just thought it described many of our customers in a more adult way (for adult beverages) As for the viewership, because of the boob shot, You Tube took the video down, so we produced a version that is more pg. But You Tube had reset their counter. Altogether, there were over 185,000 views of the video.


  1. Obviously, skinny-dipping hipsters are offensive to beer drinkers everywhere.

  2. Yup, still hate it, but not for the breast shot.

  3. You echo a couple of commenters online. The idea wasn't to re-litigate the artistic merits of the Deschutes vid. If hipsterdom were innately offensive, that Sixpoint video, which is an unironic high-water mark for hipsterdom (the kind of thing that got Portland it's own mocku-sitcom), wouldn't have gotten 270,000 views.

    For what it's worth, the fact that the Deschutes vid is so polarizing is, I would argue, a mark of its success. The worst--and overwhelmingly most common--videos are those that are so inoffensive they taste like Pabst. Deschutes produced something potent enough to offend and alienate (Alan thought it was "creepy"), which isn't generally the first thing a PR department shoots for.

  4. In all seriousness, the hipsters don't bother me nearly as much as the screwed up geography. Whoever edited the video had no idea just how much driving back and forth they would have done to visit the landmarks in the order presented. Irritating. Otherwise, the video is fine. I like having the Central Oregon landscape exposed like that.

    As to why the Sixpoint video has so many more views: Might have something to do with the demographics. What is the population of their distribution area, vs. Deschutes? What is the hipster population of that footprint? Would argue that has more to do with it than anything.

  5. Where's Fred Armisen to spice up this farce! This is like a joke.....

  6. I feel like there's a larger appreciation for a DIY style of multimedia storytelling, whether that's in photo or video format, which might add a certain viral value to it.

    It's not really my style of video and I would've turned it off had the comments not mentioned boobs. Hey, wait a sec ...

  7. "Offensive" and "polarizing" generally aren't things you're after in marketing of any kind. In this case, they're clearly going after the hipster demo pretty hard. There's no reason it shouldn't work. Deschutes has a pretty strong presence throughout the country. If this video wasn't watched, it's likely because they posted it in a funky place and didn't drive traffic to it. It's a perfect hipster vid...although I don't see the PBR.

  8. I wasn't entertained by the Dechuttes video. Its not about beer. At all. Its pretty much a long commercial. I love Dechuttes beer. But, that video is the same as Bud's clydesdale advertisements. Actually, less entertaining.

    The Sixpoint videos are about beer. The idea of the beer. The recipe development. The execution of a new idea. Add in a decent soundtrack and the actual founder of the brewery and you have something special. Check out Shane Welch's talk @ Google. He's an interesting fellow. He shares the passion about beer that the 270,000 viewers have.

  9. First off, we at Deschutes Brewery love the discussion Jeff started about craft breweries' film projects. Film is art, like our labels (Jubelale especially) and our beer, and should stir up an emotional response. We created the Landmarks film to tell a story that connects our beers to the places (landmarks) in Central Oregon they are named after. As we sell beer further away from our backyard, we realized that a lot of our fans were not making this connection. The Landmarks film was very successful in that it was viewed over 185,000 times, deepening viewers connection to our beers, and even inspired people to road trip to Oregon. YouTube ended up banning the original version due to the now infamous "boob" shot so our numbers started over when we uploaded the family friendly version. The original version still lives on our web site thanks to Vimeo. We are very proud of this film and appreciate the conversations it has created. -Jason Randles, Digital Marketing Manager at Deschutes Brewery

  10. Jeff,
    Interestingly, it is an advertisement, as all videos are. It should be informative though. When we started as a brewpub we thought of brands that described the local landscape and natural beauty. As we have grown, and now sell beer far from the comfortable confines of Central Oregon, we have found that no one knows where Black Butte is, or why Mirror Pond is important to us, or where Smith Rocks is. So we came up with the idea to show them, with the somewhat light story. And yes, lots of people (more than I thought) seem to comment on the "boob shot". I just thought it described many of our customers in a more adult way (for adult beverages) As for the viewership, because of the boob shot, You Tube took the video down, so we produced a version that is more pg. But You Tube had reset their counter. Altogether, there were over 185,000 views of the video.
    And, by the way, we kind of like the controversy between those who love it and those who hate it. Everywhere we have shown it publicly, it has received a rousing ovation at its conclusion.
    Happy to contribute to the conversation,

  11. Gary and Jeff, I love your beers and your branding. Just didn't enjoy the video that much. Black butte is one of my favorite beers. Thanks for participating in the brewing network's can you brew it show. I can't buy black butte in Florida and its great to be able to brew my own.