In Australia we like to think that we know a thing or two about the beer market. Certainly we have a propensity for the ‘big’ beer TV ads, big budgets and big creative ideas. But in an experiential sense we are rather timid, probably more of an outcome of Government regulations than a lack of inspiration from beer brand owners. Whatever it is, it does not hold the German’s back. Even non beer drinkers are very familiar with Munich’s Oktoberfest. It has been running since 1810 and pulls (more than beer) a mere 6 million people each year. A festival with beer and traditional foods at its heart.
But on a recent trip to Germany I was smitten by something on a much smaller scale. The humble ‘Party Bike’. A very simple concept where you grab 10 friends or colleagues and go pedaling around the city on a cart like vehicle with its own barrel of purist beer to fuel the experience. Explore the city, socialise and share a beer. A novel way to build an experience around your beer brand.
So here is a mental picture for those of you who live in Melbourne. Imagine a party bike sponsored by Foster’s Melbourne Bitter or Victoria Bitter beer brands (both great names for tourists to the state). Start your outing in Swanston Street and laugh, pedal and drink your way down our great boulevard St Kilda Road, heading to St Kilda beach and back. Great experience for both tourists and locals. Not overly difficult to create, so why wouldn’t Fosters have a crack at it? Imagine getting it through Government red tape here in Victoria! Even if you could, you would be forced to drink your beer through your party hat (read bicycle helmet). But don’t despair, some of the best brand experiences in Australia have been the result of both huge imagination and huge persistence. The Sydney Harbour bridge climb is testimony to this.
If you can wrap your brand up in a fabulous experience, it is a powerful way to create an emotional bond with your customers.