Melbourne, Australia – In a bid to show to Aussies how they have perfected their Original Ale product, Australian brewery Matilda Bay has launched its limited edition of ales called the ‘Rejected Ales’, a 27-piece ale set that represents all of the ale’s rejected batches before it reached its final production.

The campaign, conceptualised alongside agency Howatson+Company, is represented by a short film that demonstrates Matilda Bay’s obsession with quality and relentlessly pursuing perfection in everything they do. For the brewery, rather than keeping these almost perfect beers a secret, the brewery has canned them and made them available to the public to prove just how good their Original Ale is.

Speaking about this campaign, Phil Sexton, founder and master brewer at Matilda Bay, said, “We’ve crafted beer to perfection our own way since 1983. If a batch doesn’t meet our impeccably high standards, we reject it. It might be a bit commercially reckless, but it’s just the way we do things around here. So, to demonstrate our dedication to crafting the perfect beer, we’re letting Aussies try our not quite perfect enough Rejected Ales. Which, after our Original Ale, are hopefully the second best beers you’ll taste.”

Meanwhile, Gavin Chimes, executive creative director at Howatson+Company, commented, “They say nothing tastes as sweet as success, but at Matilda Bay, failure is delicious too. Now we’ve put that failure in cans for people to try. We worked closely with the Matilda Bay brewers to capture the details of their arduous journey. We opened old wounds and old logbooks. And crafted every aspect of our campaign. It was only fitting, considering how much craft they put into their beer.”

With names like ‘Yeah…nah’, ‘Keep dreaming’ and ‘Ballpark’, each of the 27 Rejected Ale cans tells a story of its rejection. These have been brought to life in OOH, radio, press, social, retailer integration, and in store activations.

Sydney, Australia – Online shopping while under the influence of alcohol might sound hilarious, but it does happen: the latest survey from comparison platform Finder shows that around 18% of Australians admit to doing so.

In terms of the frequency of doing it, this is split by 12% admitting to having done it once or twice, and 6% having doendo it often. 

Meanwhile, 62% of the respondents admit that although they haven’t done so, have actually shopped online while mildly sober. 

In terms of what items or services respondents eyed while ‘drunk-shopping’, the most is having food delivered, with around 1212% of the respondents. This is followed by buying alcohol (11%), and shopping for clothes or shoes (9%). Some have even gone as far as applying for a job (2%), applying for a house/apartment (1%), buying airline tickets (1%), and purchasing a pet (1%).

The average amount most spent online while drunk in one sitting was AU$328. Demographic-wise, men have admitted to spending AU$343 while drunk in one sitting, compared to AU$306 for women.

By age group, Gen X drunk shoppers are the worst offenders, spending AU$425 on average per sitting, compared to AU$299 for Millennials and AU$265 for Gen Z.

Manila, Philippines – With the taboo belief of consuming alcohol and tobacco products now vanishing due to the open acceptance in our modern society, the alcohol and tobacco industry has since thrived in the Philippine market, as media intelligence company Isentia notes in its latest report how the so-called ‘sin’ products are perceived in the social media space.

In the bigger realm of the alcohol scene, recent buzz about alcohol drinks can be attributed to the rise of brand endorsements represented by K-pop artists and K-drama personalities. For instance, when South Korean beer brand Kloud Beer announced that K-pop boy band BTS were to represent the Lotte Chilsung-affiliated brand, Filipino ‘ARMYs’ or BTS fans took to social media to express anticipation for the announcement.

Isentia notes that a total of 1,761 social buzz was recorded on 15 April, the day the brand ambassadors were announced, and a total of 1,362 social buzz on 23 April when Kloud Beer released a short promotional video showing all of the members of BTS.

Social buzz pertains to the keyword or ‘trend’ frequently mentioned by social media users in a day. The social buzz used by Isentia are based on their existing Isentia Workspace, as well as Google Trends statistics.

Aside from garnering a high traction in April, the keywords ‘chicken and beer’ also dominated the social media space, possibly attributed to the well-known chicken combination of ‘chimaek’ which is a colloquial word of chicken and ‘maekju’ (beer in Korean).

“Considering the current health crisis and the rapid changes in consumer behavior specific to the industry, it is important now more than ever to not just be aware but have the numbers to back decision-making in communicating brand messages and fortifying the brand-to-audience relationship. It is not enough to know the issues. Knowledge gained from observing buzz peaks, determining breakout conversations, and deciphering social trends equips brands with data they can use to maximize media space they exist in,” Marla Edullantes, senior insights analyst at Isentia Philippines, said.

Veering away from the K-pop spotlight, local alcohol brand giant in the Philippines San Miguel Corporation (SMC) also gained positive traction this April following its recent CSR initiative on funding the historic cleanup of the Pasig River, a well-known river in Metro Manila. Said initiative gained praise from netizens, with some users even jokingly saying that they will support SMC’s positive efforts by ‘buying and consuming beer’, as well as ‘buying all of their available products’.

Despite these ‘glowing’ notes, the alcohol industry is also a facet for backlash among Filipino netizens.

One notable case was a community pantry located in Muntinlupa City in Metro Manila that gave soju, a popular Korean alcoholic drink, as part of what people can get for free. The negative flak was heightened due to the fact that the initiative was set by the ‘Sangguniang Kabataan, a local equivalent of a youth-oriented civil organization. According to the netizens, despite the heightened popularity of ‘soju’ due to prominence in K-drama shows, there is still a line as to who the target audience be, and it makes sense that youth members are still not allowed based on age restrictions.

Another notable case is the sentiment shared by Brett Tolhurs, president of the Wine Depot, who commented that Filipinos are not drinking the right wine pairing for the tropical season. His suggestion of pairing ‘lechon’, a well-known Filipino delicacy of slow-roasted pork, to be paired with rose wine, was met negatively by Filipinos, criticizing him for his lack of awareness on the Filipino pairing scene.

“What brands can leverage from this is that spokespersons should be able to balance commentaries without coming out with sweeping generalizations that could trigger netizens to veer away from product consumption and instead focus on personalities representing the brand. By mining data-driven insights, brands should be looking at not only how positive or negative the discussions are, but also the manner how their audiences engage with them and their stakeholders,” Isentia said in a press statement.

For cigarettes, there was a notable theme from consumers that smoking after intercourse is something that they do. This sharing of behaviors and experiences is something alcohol and tobacco industry players could look into in terms of user-generated content to bolster ideas in content marketing, advertisements, and promotional sales.

Another pairing people mentioned by netizens is no surprise: cigarettes and coffee. Similarly, these suggestions can open doors to co-branding that could benefit both brands from different industries.

“It is vital for brands to have a good grasp of the trends and consumer behavior in their industry. Given the alcohol and tobacco brands’ defined customer base, looking into the digital public’s organic conversations relating specifically to their industry may cull out fresh and data-driven ideas that will help in deciding how to improve the brand’s appeal to their intended audience,” said Kate Dudang, insights manager at Isentia Philippines.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – The Malaysian branch of global alcohol beverage manufacturer Moët Hennessy Diageo has appointed Kingdom Digital as its digital agency to handle the Diageo portfolio, specifically Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker and its single malt Scotch whisky brand Singleton. The agency was appointed in September following a pitch in April.

Under the appointment, Kingdom Digital will be responsible for assisting both Johnnie Walker and Singleton brands in their content planning and creation, creative development, along with social media management and performance analysis. The agency said the appointment is for a period of four months, with a possibility of extension.

Rajesh Joshi, marketing director of Moët Hennessy Diageo Malaysia for Diageo brands, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Kingdom Digital. The agency has demonstrated a good understanding of our brands, digital strategy, and goals in driving our business forward through innovative ideas. We look forward to producing campaigns that resonate well with our brands’ audiences and deliver exciting work for the Malaysian market.”

Meanwhile, Kingdom Digital’s CEO Ryan Ong commented, “It’s an honor for us to work with such esteemed brands. Through this partnership, we are confident that we’ll be able to assist Johnnie Walker and Singleton in strengthening their brand awareness and expanding their reach through a more digital-first approach.”

One of the agency’s first campaigns for Johnnie Walker includes promoting its newly-launched limited-edition John Walker & Sons XR 21 – The Legacy Collection. The latest collection aims to celebrate the rich heritage and diversity of the Malaysian Chinese communities.

To support this, Kingdom Digital produced a short, animated video that centered on the intricate heritage of the Cantonese, Hakka, and Hokkien clans. The video was released early November on Johnnie Walker’s Facebook.

The second phase of the XR 21 Legacy Collection campaign, set to roll out in December, will be focusing on a few other Chinese communities. Aside from digital asset development and video production for the campaign, Kingdom Digital will also be leveraging on Johnnie Walker’s social media channels for further visibility