How we helped:

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    Content creation
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    Chinese media relations
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    KOL management
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    Website UX design
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    Event coordination
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    Social media management

Results

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    Over 100 placements including front page and feature stories in leading lifestyle and specialist publications in Beijing and Shanghai
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    18,000 WeChat views
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    25 million impressions
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    Goose Island now has over 150 points of sale in Shanghai
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    Opened up Goose Island Brew Pub in Shanghai


 Awards


Shortlisted for Asia-Pacific Excellence Awards – F&B Category

Challenge:
Building Brand Awareness

One of the world’s largest brewers, AB Inbev, chose Goose Island, a craft beer brand from Chicago, to be part of an aggressive launch campaign to capitalize on the burgeoning craft beer scene in China. These launches are know as Migration Weeks, and took place in Shanghai and Beijing.

Well established in the US market, the recently acquired Goose Island has been brewing since 1988 and has won fans and internationally acclaimed awards for it’s range of brews.

But the brand was virtually unknown in China, where the majority of beer drinkers will choose a light lager over craft, and education is still a key part in building consumer awareness that this isn’t a product for ‘foreigners’.
Brandigo was tasked with helping to quickly build brand awareness amongst target consumers, F&B outlets and retailers. To position Goose as a premium craft beer targeted at hip, young, internationally-minded Chinese drinkers and beer aficionados.

The bottom line: winning retail and bar space and becoming the drink of choice for craft beer fans in China’s tier one cities.

Strategy:
Social media and PR campaign

Chinese “hipsters” are different from the US, and as a result the messaging strategy would need to reflect this. Brandigo did not want to lose Goose Island’s brand connection with music and art, but mid-range beer in China already has a strong affiliation with the music industry, so messaging and activations were placed instead around craft and quality, implying a premium experience.

Goose Island was also unable to carry out their massive social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, as these are blocked in China. Brandigo implemented a comprehensive social media strategy on Wechat, hiring F&B industry leaders, bloggers and influencers – including artists, entrepeneurs, writers and DJs to be KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders).

These KOLs were sent gift boxes of Goose Island swag, and posted about it on the WeChat moments feeds. Brandigo also developed weekly content for Goose Island’s WeChat account, promoting Migration Week events, telling the Goose Island story, and introducing the different craft beers.

Throughout two weeks in Beijing and Shanghai, we helped promote 26 events through 20 days. WeChat was used as the primary driver supported by the website, all created and launched for the campaign. A FactoryFive road bike, hand-painted by a famous artist at a live beer tasting, was given away. Gourmet dinner beer pairings for media and KOL were curated by well-known local chefs, the visiting Goose Island brew team met with a local brewer, resulting in a taste test challenge of each other’s beers, all captured on film for local video news. Media and bloggers attended all events and helped promote the campaign through blogs, WeChat and media.

Results:

In just two months Goose Island’s WeChat had over 18,000 views, more than any craft beer in such a short time frame. Media impressions in Shanghai and Beijing reached over 25 million, with 18,000 views on WeChat posts.

The widespread social media success earned Goose Island shelf space in more than 150 outlets, become the beer every bar and liquor store wanted in stock.

Finally, the distinctive goose head tap became a ubiquitous sight for beer drinkers in Shanghai and Beijing, with the brand’s very own Goose Island Brew Pub opening its doors in Spring 2017.

As they say at Goose Island – To What’s Next…