#Campaigns: When you thought you’d bought a beer (but got a brewery)
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Ad agency: Duke
Title: For Sale Ale
Information supplied by Duke.
The client, founder Steve Miller, had come to the end of his tenure with the world of craft brewing and was looking to sell the Garagista brewery. But, since the brewery in question was Garagista (which has a history of fairly out-there marketing campaigns), it couldn’t just be done in any normal way.
Duke started with the insight that, if you’re going to invest in a brewery, you may as well get a proper feel for what you’re buying — and what better way of doing so than literally trying what you’re buying? The beer, along with the spirit of the brand.
Garagista is also an irreverent brand which doesn’t like to play by the rules and whoever wanted to buy the brewery needed to not only understand this but adopt it, too. So, instead of the usual business-selling channels, Duke created a beer to do the job: For Sale Ale, a bittersweet IPA that’s not just a beer but also an ad that gives you a literal taste of what you’re buying.
The packaging design wasn’t merely inspired by classified advertising but was an actual classified ad that appeared in the Sunday Argus. This was then reproduced as the beer label, a limited-edition bottle wrap and other collateral. This approach enabled Duke to turn the beer into a media channel which targets potential brewery owners in the place they would definitely be looking: the beer fridge. It also ‘stole’ media space in stores where few craft beers have the budget to advertise.
Put simply, this allowed the beers in the store fridges to become the actual advertising aimed at selling the brewery.
The key audience was craft-beer enthusiasts who also had the mettle to take on a brewery themselves. The budget was limited, so the campaign had to be as targeted as possible while also creating as much intrigue and talkability as possible. The campaign was also timed to coincide with the appearance of the beer on Dors – a DStv show focused on different craft breweries around the country. At the same time, Duke distributed the beer to beer fridges in selected craft-beer stores around the Western Cape and continued to sell the beer from the brewery.
The beer’s label is literally a classified ad, the design based on classified ad specs and run in the Sunday Argus in the section where one might look to buy businesses. The agency then bought the paper, scanned the ad and turned it into the front section of the beer label, as well as the limited-edition bottle wrap. The same newspaper texture as the background was used for the back-label design.
The Garagista brewery was sold in the same month the full campaign launched. Well, half of it. Miller is still going to keep his hand in continuing to build Garagista but with new partners carrying the load. So, in short: Brief met.
The total campaign spend was R10 275, which lead to a 24:1 ROI, based on the nett profits of the transaction for the sale of half the brewery.
Client representative: Steve Miller
Executive creative director: Mike Beukes
Creative directors: Gareth Cohen, Andrew Ringrose
Design/art directors: Andrew Ringrose, Gareth Cohen, Brinké Stemmett
Copywriters: Mike Beukes, Liam Olding
Client service: Boitumelo Phetla
Producer: Nicola Davidson
Film production company: Tin Toy/Dors
Editor: Francois Conradie
Sound studio: Tin Toy
Photographer: Matt van Lille, Bird on a Wire
#Campaigns is the new weekly MarkLives column featuring insight into the brief, creative idea, production challenges and results of South African communication campaigns, both ongoing and recent. Have a campaign worthy of being featured in #Campaigns? Submit a short motivation to and we may well be in touch. Please include links to campaign material, when it ran/is running and why you believe it should be featured.
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