Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Beck’s has launched a multi dimensional campaign called “Music Inspired Art” that is intended to give consumers an emotional reason to actively choose Beck’s over other bottled lagers and command a price premium. In particular they are focusing their attention on the hipster crowd with the hope that this will have positive knock on benefits for those that look on.
They have a long association with art and music, having sponsored the Beck’s Futures modern art prize as well as designing limited edition bottles with up artists such as Damien Hirst and Dino Chapman.
This year they’ve stepped things up a level with their “Music Inspired Art” campaign.
This started with a competition on Flickr to “re-imagine” the album covers of the top 100 albums of all time.
It then moved into a collaboration with Hard-Fi and Ladyhawke who have created bottle artwork that is inspired by their music.
This mashed-up, lo-fi content has then been amplified into a 360 idea. It has been used in outdoor, print and taxi media, PR’ed widely on websites like Fused, Bitch Buzz, Virgin Music Shout, Holy Moly and merchandised on 16 million bottles. One person loved the poster so much they have pasted it up on their wall.
In addition they have used the exteriors of their flagship London pubs as canvases to promote their association with edgy rock bands. This has been picked up by Trendhunter Magazine.
They also invited urban influencers in the music scene to secret gigs which you can enjoy in the video below
Beck’s have also claimed a media first. Their interactive bus shelters allow passers by to plug in their iPods and see a graphical visualisation of the music they are listening to which is then shared on Flickr.
Ken Valledy, Beck's Brand Director at InBev UK, said "This is a great way to get beer drinkers to plug into Beck's and interact on a whole new level with the UK's No. 1 imported lager. This fresh plug-and-play advertising initiative is about interacting with beer drinkers on their terms... this interactive media activity really helps to bring the campaign to life.”
Whilst it seems only 400 people have used the service, it has generated plenty of PR. You can see how it works by watching the video below from Electrolyte.
Becks interactive music installations - 002 from electro on Vimeo.
And the slideshow showcasing the bottle labels from the Flickr stream is below:
This is an impressive campaign that knits together very well. But it's not perfect. Many people have dismissed the interactive bus stops as "just buzz" and the collaboration with Hard-Fi has been far less popular than with Ladyhawke. We Heart Stuff refused to feature Hard-Fi in their article and on the Drowned in Sound forum Hard-Fi were slated, the secret gigs were scorned and the artwork was rubbished. On Twitter someone wondered, "Does Hard-Fi Becks taste as bad as Hard-Fi sound?" And on Nick Burcher's post about Beck's one commenter said that they would stop drinking Beck's because of their association with Hard-Fi.
Overall the campaign successfully cements Beck’s longstanding association with music and art in a way that's refreshing, worth talking about and ambitious.