Manifest partnership over
BrewDog splits with agency behind madcap campaigns
Founders Martin Dickie and James Watt with crew on the maiden BrewDog Airlines flight
Beer company BrewDog has split with its long-standing PR company, bringing an end to an era of memorable and often controversial marketing campaigns.
Manifest’s retained contract with the Aberdeenshire-based business concluded this week with the arrival in the US of BrewDog Airlines, a campaign to launch the world’s first craft beer airline.
They have now agreed to part company after a near-decade of collaboration which has earned nearly 50 industry awards and headlines around the world.
BrewDog co-founder James Watt credited the London-based agency for being a big part in its growth from minor player in the brewing business to one of the fastest-growing drinks brands in the world, valued at more than £1 billion.
Manifest was retained for seven years, wrapped around a two-year spell between 2015 and 2017 when The Romans ran the consumer campaign..
Headline-hitting stunts included the creation of a “protest” beer Hello My Name is Vladimir (pictured), targeting homophobic legislation in Russia, and Bar on the Edge which took a dig at policies favoured by US president Donald Trump.
Some have backfired, including the launch of a parody porn website called BeerPorn and its launch of Pink IPA ‘because women only like pink and glitter’.
“Our work with BrewDog over the years has been exhilarating and at times groundbreaking – from driving tanks to the Bank of England to building a bar across the US/Mexico border to stop Trump’s wall,” Manifest founder and group CEO Alex Myers told PR Week.
“However, we both felt now was a good time to part ways – nine years is a long time and as Manifest grows there are different creative opportunities that we feel it’s the right time to pursue.
“We wish BrewDog all the best with their continued adventures. The brand will always have a special place in Manifest’s history and I’m confident they will continue to build on their awesome success in the future.”
James Watt added: “Manifest has been an integral part of our success over the past nine years, and some of the work we have done together holds a place as the best creative PR work the drinks industry has ever seen.”
A successor agency was not announced, though sources say BrewDog’s expansion overseas has seen it develop a new international strategy, with particular focus on the US and Australia which are big brewing centres.