When BrewDog launched in 2007, its mission was to make people as passionate about beer as its two founders.
Over a decade later, BrewDog has grown from two employees to over 500, launched 33 bars, been the fastest-growing food and drinks producer in the UK and at the forefront of driving a global craft beer revolution. All achieved without spending a penny on advertising whilst with Manifest.
Throughout the nine-year relationship, Manifest won more than 20 industry accolades for its work with BrewDog that saw the brand take on homophobic legislation in Russia with the world’s first protest beer, Hello My Name is Vladimir, drive a tank to the Bank of England to launch the record-breaking Equity for Punks crowdfunding scheme and force previously unflinching institutions such as the Portman Group, the Advertising Standards Authority and drinks giant Diageo into retreat.
Through a series of tactical stunts, bold integrated creative campaigns and a strong strategic comms approach, Manifest and BrewDog paved the way for craft beer to take over the British drinks industry, one tank at a time.
Our strategic creative platform allowed the brand to have a viewpoint on some of the world’s biggest global issues. As such, we wanted our medium to be the message. To effectively dramatise all the potential that lies within our beer to make a change and open the world’s eyes to possible solutions and, of course, our brand.
The World's Smallest Protest
We instigated the world’s smallest protest in an attempt to tear-up UK licensing laws that say beer can only be served in third, half or full pint measures. The World’s Smallest Protest saw a dwarf successfully hold a week-long protest at Westminster, arguing that two thirds of a pint measures should be introduced in British bars and pubs.
The World's First Protest Beer
My Name Is Vladimir
In order to start getting global awareness and recognition for BrewDog who was looking to expand and launch its bars internationally, we created My Name is Vladimir, the world’s first protest beer, which held the Russian government to account during the Sochi Winter Olympics for their human rights abuses against LGBT people.
The World's Strongest Beer
End of History
Pushing the boundaries of what people considered beer, BrewDog launched the world’s strongest beer called The End of History. Not to be confused with a lower ABV beer, EoH was served in a collection of roadkill including seven stoats, four squirrels and a hare, each containing a bottle of beer at 55% ABV. Costing £500 a bottle.
Equity for Punks 3, 4, 5 & 6
We built a community of craft beer fans, who could help us dictate what craft beer could be while growing the BrewDog brand. To do this we launched our unique crowdfunding campaign Equity For Punks. To tear up the traditional model of investment we literally marched on the Bank of England, driving a tank through Central London to show a change is coming not just in craft beer, but also the typical investment model. For the fifth round, we dropped taxidermy Fat Cats over London from a helicopter. To date Equity for Punks is the most successful crowdfunding scheme in the world - totalling over £70m and nearly 125k fanvestors.
Breaking the US
Bar on the Edge
In 2017, BrewDog had big expansion plans and was set to launch its largest brewery in Ohio, America. We wanted our launch moment to firmly cement the brand as a company of DOERS so needed to focus on action over words.
Our big idea was to radically go against the new President of the United States, by proclaiming to “Make Beer, Not Walls” (a new play in the famous anti-war slogan of the 1960s) in relation to Trump’s famous Mexico wall idea. Just six months after his inauguration, this was risky for a brand trying to boost sales in the vast country, but one that felt instinctively right.
We announced that BrewDog was opening a new craft beer bar that ‘straddled’ the border between the USA and Mexico. After all, nothing brings people together and breaks down borders like a refreshing, cold beer or cerveza!
#MakeBeerNotWalls trended globally, generating 449 global pieces of coverage
Protest Beer Number Two
“Make Earth Great Again”
Can beer change the most powerful man on the planet’s mind? Maybe!
As President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement, Manifest leapt into action with a BrewDog “Protest Beer” to raise awareness for climate change with charity partners 10:10.
The medium became the message with make earth great again (named after the election slogan) – brewed with arctic ice cap water and with berries from endangered regions of the artic – launched weeks later and sent to Washington.
It’s become the brewery’s most successful campaign and, just days ago, trump signalled a u-turn was “conceivable”. Did he finally try the beer?
Creating a movement with BrewDog
When BrewDog first started, the UK beer market was all fizzy, no flavour, mass produced beers and we demanded better. Manifest defined BrewDogs’ brand communications, created the Craft Beer Revolution and positioned BrewDog as the leaders of change, elevating the industry.