The Pressies 2020: Best Experiential or Event Campaign

In celebration of the country’s most impressive PR, experiential and social media campaigns, StopPress chats to all the winners at The Pressies 2020. Mango Communications and Emerson’s took home gold for ‘Emerson’s – Tiny Pub’ in the Best experiential or event campaign category. 

StopPress: Tiny pub, huge results – tell us about the journey.   

Brie Elder

Brianna Elder, Mango Group Business & Experiential Director: It was quite a journey when we started planning, it was a very different time and a very different world. The insights became even more relevant as we went into the new environment post-Covid, and we had a whole lot of research about how Kiwis were really missing that face-to-face time with each other and hand in hand with that was that Emerson’s were finding out what that drinking experience is, and should be and should feel like. 

So from there the Tiny Pub was born and again there was two parts to it with design and selling it in around New Zealand, but also the logistics of building a completely portable bar that was true to its origins, and had to be – Emerson’s were adamant that it had to be a proper working pub, so it had to have running water, the beer had to be served from a keg not from a bottle, it had to have a menu, it had to have proper bar staff, it had to have all the trimmings that a good, old-fashioned pub drinking experience offered. And we had to be able go around the country so that it truly could be a portable pub, see as many places and open its doors to as many people as it could. 

Just as we were about to launch, the first lockdown hit, and we were thrown into not knowing what the future would hold. It took a very brave client to take the gamble and to press on with the campaign and reignite the energy for everyone who worked on it to get it off the ground, but I think when we went to market we had an audience in New Zealand that was dying to socialise again and see each other and truly had missed their friends and missed that opportunity to have that face-to-face catch up. So we were poised to make the most of that, and I think that made it the success that it was. 

StopPress: How did your agency partnership help you to deliver this award winning campaign?

Greg Menzies

Greg Menzies, Sales & Marketing Manager, Emerson’s Brewery: In 2018, we undertook market research that highlighted an area of concern for the Emerson’s brand. Even though we are in the top five largest volume Luxury Craft Brands in New Zealand, we were slowly losing our relevance in the craft market, especially in the upper half of the North Island. This was showing up in flagging consumer awareness and declining sales. The market research indicated that Emerson’s hadn’t done anything new in years and hadn’t made an impression on the market for quite a while.

We decided on a three prong approach in 2020, first was to reinvigorate our core portfolio with more modern day craft products, introduce a solid seasonal pack beer line up to show our diversity, the third was to not be so humble and shout about our brand. It was this third prong that didn’t come naturally to the Emerson’s team, so we were introduced to Mango & DDB.

We first needed to understand Emerson’s position in the market and determine our brand conviction. What we identified is that we have an unswerving commitment to our beer and nothing but the beer, we are always “True to the Brew” and we are untraditionally traditional. So the question was asked, how to turn tradition into timelessness and make Emerson’s the approachable, authentic craft beer of choice? How do we as a brand shout about ourselves and get noticed in a cluttered market?

Mango & DDB developed an idea that is so true to Emerson’s and our ideals, the “Tiny Pub Movement”. The “Tiny Pub” was created, a Tiny Pub that had all the values Emerson’s holds true in a compact, quaint drinking experience, a quiet moment to connect, no clutter or distractions, just you and a mate coming together to enjoy a beer and a conversation.  

The effect of the campaign was immediate. Emerson’s prompted awareness had slumped during the lockdown period but the Tiny Pub tour and PR/media campaign lifted Emerson’s to an all time high of 36.7% awareness, giving Emerson’s an average of 30% awareness for 2020, up from an average of 24% in 2019. This has had a flow on effect in scan sales as well, for the last quarter we have an increase on YAGO by 28.58% value and 20.29% in volume. As a result, Emerson’s has a platform and a tremendous asset to build on the solid base Mango & DDB have created. Bring on 2021…

For more winner interviews from The Pressies 2020, click here.

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