Why Celebrate?

Growth

We’re seeing levels of growth in the beer sector that are unthinkable in other areas of hospitality.

Quality

We’re also enjoying a better standard of product in both the on and off trade than at any time before.

Inspiration

With inspiration from the history books, innovation from other countries and the rise of some great brewers from our own shores.

About The Awards

These prized awards are open to breweries, cider makers, advertising agencies, design consultancies, digital agencies, PR companies, importers, integrated agencies and any company that has carried out marketing that promotes beer or cider over the eligibility period.

Not only do the awards recognise the best of the best, but our ‘Anti-black tie’ evening event is fast becoming known as THE place to network in the industry. With a broad spectrum of multinational through to small independent companies, this is the only event that brings the entire industry together under one roof to celebrate what we do.

2017 Sponsors

matthew-clark

Categories

Be careful and choose the right category.
If it sounds like something you’ve done – and done well – we definitely want to hear from you.

Best Advertising Campaign - Broadcast

If you’ve created a TV ad that’s really caught the attention of the viewing public, or a series of radio slots that stop people in their tracks, you’ll want to enter this category and propel growth.

Not so long ago, TV ads were the main channel for building successful beer brands. Today, mass audiences are more fragmented and the medium is much more tightly restricted. Great ads are rarer now, but still possible. The judges in this category are looking for strong creative ideas that stand out, get talked about, and build powerful brand attributes. We also want to see some indication that the work has been effective, given its budget, without going into too much detail or econometric analysis.

Previous winners:

2016: Greene King IPA - ‘To The Pub’.

The campaign reconnected the brand with the pub – the best place to drink beer. It did so by commissioning 50 films from 50 pubs, telling unscripted stories of pub life.

2015: Shepherd Neame Spitfire - 'Bottle of Britain'

Proving there is still a role for good old-fashioned, entertaining telly ads, Shepherd Neame succeeded in revitalising the campaign that made it a national brand but was increasingly showing its age. Now it feels fresh and funny again, relevant and appealing to 21st century drinkers.

Best Advertising Campaign – Print

This category rewards outstanding marketing activity in print media. Designed a standout campaign for national newspapers? Publicised your brand to great effect in glossy magazines or on billboards? This category’s for you.

We all know that when we read print media ourselves, we turn the pages barely registering the ads. And yet, the vast majority of print campaigns consist of a pack-shot, logo, and if you’re lucky, a witty line. Magazine and newspaper advertising increasingly works in the same way as posters, and long body copy seems to be a thing of the past in a world with attention deficit disorder. We’re looking for work with the ability to make people stop and look, something that has an idea rather than just a picture of a beer.

Previous winners:

2016: No Prize awarded

2015: Fuller's London Pride - 'Made of London'

An elegant, crafted campaign that succeeds in one of the most difficult jobs in beer marketing: re-presenting a traditional, long-established brand as more modern and contemporary without abandoning its roots.

Best Online Communications

Facebook, Twitter, websites, or whatever other social media channel floats your boat – if you’ve devised a campaign that has provoked thousands of comments, likes and follows, get your entry written.

This is one of the most hotly contested categories in the awards. Are websites still relevant in a world of more dynamic social media platforms? Can you really be creative with a Snapchat or Twitter account? Here, we regularly see some of the world’s biggest brewers going head-to-head with the UK’s smallest. It’s free to open a Twitter or Facebook account, and if you have the knowledge and creativity, you can get greater awareness than someone with a six or seven figure budget. For their part, large scale marketers have realised that social media can’t just be left to those who can’t afford to do broadcast advertising – increasingly, people expect to genuinely engage with the brands they admire. Here we’re looking for work that genuinely engages drinkers and does something traditional media can’t do. We’re looking for engagement and two-way dialogue that builds relationships. That means thinking a little bit more carefully than simply sticking your TV ad on a Facebook page and measuring the number of ‘likes’ it gets. What do those ‘likes’ translate into? Where does it go from there? Again, we’re looking for campaigns that help build brands and relationships rather than simple awareness.

Previous winners:

2016: Diageo/Guinness/AMV BBDO – Rugby World Cup activity.

A single-minded idea, very well executed, that demonstrated Diageo had thought carefully about their media and how it could be used, rather than approaching it frivolously - which so much digital and social work does.

2015: BrewDog - #Mashtag.

The brand that has built itself through social media still has an assured touch. #MashTag allowed fans to design a new BrewDog beer for commercial launch, their involvement generating conversation, deeper relationships with the brand, and of course, instant demand.

Best Public Relations Campaign

If you’ve generated column inches by the score, captivated journalists with your creative approach, or devised an industry focused thought leadership campaign, use your most persuasive talents to tell us why you should win this category.

The principle is very simple: an idea that’s so good, media outlets will choose to talk about it for free, rather than because you’ve bought advertising space for them. Public Relations has been defined as ‘the truth, well told.’ There’s a lot of fun to be had in defining what ‘well told’ means – grabbing people’s attention, making them stop and take note, and take away the right messages about the brand. Such initiatives can be large or small, big budget or no budget. But we’re looking for column inches and people talking about your idea, evidence that your creativity has caught the press and the public’s imaginations.

Previous winners:

2016: Kronenbourg 1664 - #LeBigSwim

Used social and traditional media for a tongue-in-cheek campaign designed to create stand-out for the brand. The judges thought Kronenbourg’s campaign was fun and fresh, and amplified the core messages about the brand effectively.

2015: Greene King Old Speckled Hen - 'Old Speckled Christmas'

Providing a space for weary Christmas shoppers to have a beer and a slice of cake is a beautifully simple and inspired way of getting the brand talked about.

Best Branding/design

With an ever-increasing number of brands in a shrinking market, competition for space and getting noticed has never been harder. How are you going to make your brand stand out?

This is the most hotly contested category in the short history of these awards, and is definitely one of the most fascinating for the judges. Like online, packaging offers more of a level playing field than most other categories. Ultimately everyone has the same space on a bottle label, can or pump clip. We’ve seen iconic identities develop over time that are instantly recognisable but resistant to change. Now, we have younger, smaller businesses seemingly breaking every rule in the design handbook to get noticed. We’re looking for bold, disruptive design – but it still has to work. It has to stand out and be clearly identifiable. And it has to make us want to pick up the bottle or can, or order from the font.

Previous winners

2016: Thirst Craft for Loch Ness Brewery

Loch Ness looks great, and makes a little budget go a long way. They’ve obviously had fun with it; it has a bit of soul, a really strong aesthetic and stands out from the crowd.

2015: Beavertown – cans

These bold can designs broke every rule in the design book and succeeded in revolutionising cans as a premium format.

Best Integrated Campaign

Jack of all trades or accomplished all-rounder? If you’ve created a high quality multi-platform campaign that hits print, broadcast, social media and anything else, add it all together and submit it for this category.

While an integrated campaign spans several different channels of communication, the quality of entries we’ve seen so far demonstrates that it’s not about having a budget big enough to buy lots of different media – it’s about an idea that’s strong enough to run through various consumer touchpoints, consistently and relevantly, building a compounded brand meaning that takes on deeper levels of meaning and appeal from its spread across those touchpoints than if the whole budget had been spent in one medium. What does each channel add? How do the channels work together to enhance each other in a manner that increases awareness but also makes the message deeper? How does this specific idea benefit from multiple channels, and how does the idea executed across those particular channels help the brand more than a different approach would?

Previous winners

2016: Britain’s Beer Alliance – There’s A Beer For That

A campaign to drive reappraisal of the entire beer category among people who think beer isn’t as special as other drinks, led by positioning beer as a perfect match for food. There’s A Beer For That triumphed because it’s a single idea, consistently executed across different media, which becomes much greater than the sum of its parts.

2015: Winner: Marston's Pedigree - ‘Live a Life of Pedigree’

This campaign was integrated in every way: it targeted drinkers, pubs and internal stakeholders, aiming to rejuvenate the brand and restate its core values. It was the sheer number of layers to this campaign that impressed the judges, especially given a relatively modest budget.

Best Stunt/guerrilla Marketing

If, like Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition, your chief weapon is surprise, try and catch us unawares with your specialism for stunts or your gift for guerrilla marketing.

Arguably an aspect of PR, a good stunt or cheeky guerrilla campaign can be so much more. If you don’t have the budget or the official rights to associate with some property, an ingenious idea can cur through the limitations. We’ve seen examples where guerrilla marketers at sporting events can be mistaken for sponsor who have paid millions. This is about hijack and subversion (while obviously staying within the law of course.) If you’ve done a campaign that meets these criteria, you’ll already know about it and you’ll already be writing your entry, because you won’t be able to help talking about it. Great brands can be created this way.

Previous winners

2016: BrewDog - ‘DIY Dog’

This initiative saw BrewDog put all their recipes online, fully accessible, for free. They didn’t enter the idea into this category, but the judges felt this definitely was a stunt, and a very good one. It created an instantaneous global conversation about that brand as soon as it was announced; dividing opinion, creating a great deal of debate, and keeping the brand at the heart of discussions around craft beer.

2015: Wychwood Hobgoblin – ‘Hobgoblin Roadshow’

A combined social media, live roadshow and trade engagement programme folded into a national sampling programme unlike any other brand could – or would – do. Proving that even sampling can be a brand-building activity.

Best Business-to-business Campaign

Targeting the trade can be as exciting and innovative as targeting the consumer, so if you’ve concocted a campaign that persuades landlords to serve your beer, or masterminded an approach to the off-trade, here’s your category.

Good old B2B is much maligned, the poor relation of the more glamorous categories here. Or at least, that’s the theory, anyway. When we’ve been involved in developing campaigns in the past, the ‘trade’ bit is often relegated to the end, a quickly thought-out message that uses the imagery of the main consumer campaign, tells your customers how much money you’re spending on that campaign (always grossly exaggerated) and reassures them that you are number one in your category (even if you have to come up with a very convoluted definition of what that category is before you can make that claim.) And yet, in the first year of the beer marketing awards, this was the most creatively vibrant category we had, and certainly the hardest to judge. When this was consolidated in our second year, we realise that good, imaginative B2B in this industry is often about giving publicans and retailers something of genuine value and really helping them. This isn’t philanthropic – it’s a way of ensuring loyalty, display, even creating spokespeople who will eulogise your brand to the consumer. Or maybe you’ve found yet another way of reinventing the discipline?

Previous winners

2016: Island Records/Soundwaves Brewing/Two Tribes Brewery/Boutique Bar Brands/La Boca

These awards are about inspiring others and raising the overall standard of marketing in beer. All entries were very strong creative ideas that generated plenty of interest. But the ‘Shazamable’ can – whereby the beer can can be ‘read’ to access a playlist relevant to the beer – struck us as completely original, a great way to add value, and something that can inspire others.

Best Innovation

'Innovation' is an ill-used word in marketing, but if you genuinely feel you’ve done something game changing this is where you should tell us about it.

Slightly changing your pantone reference is not innovation. Moving from a 500ml bottle to a 330ml bottle is not innovation. Launching yet another pale ale brewed with Citra, Centennial and Cascade hops is not innovation. Innovation is something which is not just new to the brand, but also new to the category, or at least to your target consumer. Pretty much every marketing guru agrees that innovation is a vital condition for brands and markets to move forward. That’s why many brands convince themselves that their tinkering is innovation. And it’s also why brands deluding themselves and attempting to delude others about this is so dangerous. If you convince yourself you’re breathing, or eating a healthy diet, but you’re not, you’ll die. There is so much genuine innovation in beer just now – more than there has ever been. Come show us yours, and set an example that the industry will talk about.

Previous winners

2016: Carlsberg UK – Crafted

An informative campaign to give free trade pubs and bars all they need to know about stocking craft beer. All shortlisted entries this year were tangible objects rather than digital, something to be shared with staff and therefore useful. ‘Crafted’ felt like it had an independent spirit and demonstrated a category leadership approach.

2015: Heineken – Our Shout

Three outstanding campaigns each gave real benefit to the trade rather than talking down to them. Our winner eventually triumphed with a programme that rewards licensees for their custom with practical help such as setting up Facebook pages or advertising the pub in local media.

Best New Launch

90% of new product launches fail, so if you’ve done one that has captured hearts, minds and wallets in the last year, it deserves to be celebrated.

This was a new category in 2016 and it was a shot in the dark for us. It was a hotly contested category and one that provoked fierce debate in support of each of the shortlisted entries. New beers and ciders are launching all the time, and are doing so into an incredibly crowded market that’s declining in volume. How do you get noticed? How do you get listed? A successful launch is a precarious balancing act: you need to raise consumer awareness, but at the same time you also need to get listings pretty quickly. Nothing kills a new launch faster than driving consumers to buy your product when no one is sticking it – except maybe getting big listings and then being dropped straight away because no one knows what your product is or why they should buy it. A good new launch is about disruption and noise – but also very careful and considered planning.

Previous winners

2016: BrewDog – Jet Black Heart

Jet Black Heart was a newly launched beer, using BrewDog’s customary social media platforms and irreverent messaging. BrewDog won because their launch was fun. It cut through and created awareness, and successfully launched a new beer – and it made the judges laugh.

Best Use Of Sponsorship

Sporting events, celebrities, TV programmes or even a local Farmers Market – if you’ve created a sponsorship package that has complemented and benefited from a partnership with any of these, you know what to do

It’s easy to do sponsorship – you pay someone a lot of money so they will allow you to plaster your logo all over whatever it is they do. But in doing so, it’s even easier to lose sight of how you’re presenting your brand to your target audience. Poorly thought through or aggressive sponsorship can actually spoil someone’s enjoyment of the thing being sponsored. The best sponsorships are synergistic relationships. Rather than just name awareness, the sponsoring brand builds positive image attributes by association. And in return, rather than just providing financial support to the thing being sponsored, a thoughtful sponsorship can create genuine value for the target audience by enhancing the experience or even creating new experiences that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. There’s more to life than logos.

Previous winners

2016: Heineken - ‘Proud to Open Rugby World Cup 2015’

This sponsorship helped get fans closer to the action of the Rugby World Cup. Heineken had the budget that meant they could have just plastered the event with logos. They did plaster the event with logos, but in addition they created genuine, memorable experiences for fans and helped bring the tournament to life.

2015: Winner: Budweiser - 'FA Cup Open Trials'

Football sponsorship has been done to death and our winning brand – a foreign beer - has struggled to seem for credibility in this very British area. The solution? A grassroots scheme giving talented players a second chance to get spotted by a league club. A perfect example of how the best sponsorship gives genuine value to the property being sponsored and the audience as well as the brand.

Best Use Of Merchandise/Point Of Sale Material

From beermats to t-shirts, branded glassware to bottle openers – and beyond. If you’ve branded up complementary merchandise to add to your marketing campaigns, let us know how and why you did it.

Traditionally this is another area that’s often doe with very little thought – find anything you can stick a logo on, any bit of old tat, and do it. Those branded T-shirts you give away on promos to bar staff? They give then to old regulars who wear them when they’re decorating or working on the car. But imagine a T-shirt that’s so cool bar staff are actually fighting to get hold of one. Imagine doing stuff that gets nicked by people who want to be seen with it, spreading your message. And imagine giving promotional kits to a bar that are so good they actually improve the look of the place when they’re installed. If you can imagine these things, why not create them?

Previous winners

2016: Budweiser Budvar

Targeted point of sale material for the installation of Budvar tank beer in specific outlets. Budvar triumphed because it took a tailored approach to each venue, executing the idea creatively to form an immersive experience.

2015: Vedett Extra Blond - ‘Vedett Extra’

Vedett took merchandise to a new level with its ‘mini Mathon’, a kitsch machine that takes drinkers’ photos and instantly prints them on bespoke labels, giving you your own personal bottle of Vedett.

Best Corporate Responsibility Initiative

‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ is no longer the box-ticking exercise companies could get away with ten years ago. This is where you show your company genuinely has a heart.

A new award for 2017, we felt it was time to celebrate some of the great work brewers and cider makers do above and beyond the drinks they make. This might be something around sustainability, the environment, helping the local community, or any other way of ‘giving something back.’ Of course you’re doing it for the warm feeling it gives you inside, but we’re looking for examples that help improve the image of the brand and/or the industry – not in an ‘atoning for your sins’ way, but a thoughtful, creative way.

Best Targeting Of Alternative Markets

There’s more to beer and cider marketing than ABC1C2 males LDA to 35. If you’re engaging with somebody – anybody – else, please tell us about it. Just don’t call it ‘reaching out’ – unless of course you’re a former member of the Four Tops…

Here at the Beer and Cider Marketing Awards, we’re all old enough to remember dealing with creative briefs that target the young male drinker. “There’s no point targeting women because they don’t drink beer.” “There’s no point targeting older people because when they get past forty they’re too set in their ways.” Well, we’re now all over forty, and at least one of us is a woman, and we beg to differ. We can point to a great many campaigns that have targeted women in a patronising manner, or have made the mistake that anyone over 40 is old enough to remember the war. We’ve introduced this new category for 2017 in the hope of inspiring entries that engage non-traditional drinkers (in the eyes of old marketing thinking at least) in inspiring and creative ways. It could be women, it could be older people, it could be other groups that aren’t normally associated with beer.

Best Event

Charity events, beer festivals, music festivals, beer and food, brewery tours and the infinite possibilities of events focused around beer. If you have brought together any of these you will know how important they are in telling the story of your brand, not to mention hard work – this is a great opportunity to shout about your success.

Every trends analyst we speak to tells us people today want to buy experiences rather than just products. We’ve seen countless brands sit in these presentations and nod, then go back to churning out ads that tell people to buy stuff rather than engaging them in events. Get up close to your drinkers in real ways and you can turn them into passionate advocates for your brand. We want to see people going beyond the norm, creating immersive brand experiences rather genuinely deepen relationships.

Previous winners

2016: Fuller’s London Pride

The ‘London Pride Clubhouse’ sought to engage a new generation of drinkers by creating a higher quality experience around watching sport – specifically, the Rugby World Cup. It won because it was a thoughtful, well-planned and well executed idea that succeeded by genuinely engaging its target market in a meaningful way. It also exceeded expectations in the results that followed.

2015: Wychwood Hobgoblin - 'Hobgoblin Roadshow'

A combined social media, live roadshow and trade engagement programme folded into a national sampling programme unlike any other brand could – or would – do. Proving that even sampling can be a brand-building activity.

Outstanding Individual Achievement

No need to enter this – if you’ve overachieved, chances are we’ll have heard about you anyway. You’ll need to have created a stunning body of work, either this year or throughout your career. We’ll make sure everyone hears all about it.

Previous winners

2016: Glenn Payne

2015: David Cunningham

Best Beer Marketing Of The Year

No need to enter this one. Each of our awards categories is open to both beer and cider makers. Across all categories, this award goes to the best thing we’ve seen this year from a beer brand. Of course, that best thing may have been beaten in its category by a cider, but still be the best thing a beer brand has done. So this really could be an open field.

Best Cider Marketing Of The Year

No need to enter this one. Each of our awards categories is open to both beer and cider makers. Across all categories, this award goes to the best thing we’ve seen this year from a cider brand. Of course, that best thing may have been beaten in its category by a beer, but still be the best thing a cider brand has done. So this really could be an open field.

Grand Prix – Beer And Cider Marketer Of The Year

Again, no need to enter this one – we’ll choose the most impressive, innovative and successful campaign from all the above categories and give it a special award. You can bet it will deserve it

Previous winners

2016: Guinness

2015: Fuller’s London Pride

Judges

The judges, headed by Pete Brown, will comprise ten leading trade operators, journalists, bloggers and award-winning marketeers. All the judges invited to take part are impartial but have direct experience of the industry. Judges must sign a confidentiality disclaimer to ensure that any financials submitted are used for the purposes of judging only.

If you would like to be considered as a judge in future years, you are welcome to get in touch.

Pete Brown

HEAD JUDGE

Pete is a British writer who specialises in making people thirsty. He is the author of five-and-a-half books as well as the annual Cask Report, and numerous articles in the drinks trade press and consumer press. He appears regularly on TV and radio, and is a judge on the BBC Food and Farming Awards and the Great Taste Awards. He also consults widely to the drinks industry on marketing, brand positioning, consumer trends, portfolio development and NPD. He is a member of the British Guild of Beer Writers, and was named Beer Writer of the Year in 2009 and 2012.

Behind the awards

James Cuthbertson

James has 18 years’ experience in the drinks industry, primarily in PR. He runs Instinctive PR, and has for the past 11 years been a director of Dark Star Brewing Co, where he has helped turn one of the innovators of the craft beer scene into a brand with national distribution and recognition. He also a director of Pub Aid, a working party that is dedicated to highlighting the work done by UK pubs for charity - UK pubs raised over £100,000,000 for Charity.

Jo Miller

Jo founded and leads a wrap around Sales and Marketing Company, Nurture Drinks. She has an eye for detail and strategy that stems from her leading sales and marketing teams for both micro and global brewers over the last 14 years. With a strong network in the drinks industry and track record of bringing brands to market from new launch or rebrand she is regularly called upon for her consulting skills across the marketing mix. Jo is committed to seeing strong, innovative and inclusive marketing recognised by the awards. Jo is also an artist is proud to be one of the first female UK Beer Sommeliers.

Rules

The Beer and Cider Marketing Awards are open to any brand or marketing services provider who has undertaken work or projects as outlined in the category descriptions.

International companies and brands may enter, however all projects and campaigns concerned should be based in the UK, targeting UK-based audiences.

The Eligibility period for the 2017 awards is any work that was current within 2016 and has not already entered The Beer Marketing Awards in a previous year.

For more information see our category page, download an entry form or send us a contact form for any specific queries not answered in those sections.

Sponsors

Promotion as a sponsor in the publicity programme for the event through a series of trade communications.

Sponsor's logo and hyperlink will be promoted on this website.

Your company's name will be on the award.

Your company representative is invited to make the presentation to the winner at the awards dinner.

Six complimentary tickets at the Awards Evening.

Promotion as a sponsor in the publicity programme for the event through a series of press releases.

Sponsor's logo will be prominently promoted on the night, on stage throughout the evening as well as during the awards presentation itself.

Sponsor's logo and hyperlink will be promoted on this website for a full year.

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