Callen had a blue-ribbon idea that came out of an in-house exercise: How could a beer marketer get its message across during a pandemic while people were holed up at home rather than out in bars or on the streets exposed to outdoor advertising? The answer was indoor advertising, and the team at the Austin, Texas, agency thought it was good enough to take to Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Callen created ‘in-home’ media solution for Pabst Blue Ribbon
For a production cost of $40,000, the Callen team whipped up a host of products advertising PBR that average people could display in their home—think brand-inspired shower curtains, refrigerator magnets, outlet covers, pillowcases, toilet seat covers and more. It then sold these products to consumers on a website, asking them in a cheeky video (“Monetize your mayonnaise!”) to display the ads in their homes, upload photos to social media and get paid for doing so. (The amount of the advertised “free money” was not specified in the agency's awards entry.)
“Callen has reminded us how much fun the category we're in can be, and with that same energy and optimism they consistently deliver creative excellence for our brands,” said Luke Atkinson, who was chief marketing officer at Pabst Blue Ribbon during the Callen effort.
Consumers lapped it up. The PBR products the agency concocted, from banana stickers to oven door clings, sold out in two minutes each day and yielded $5 million in media investment and a half-billion social media impressions.
That also impressed the Small Agency Award judges, winning Callen Media Campaign of the Year, Gold.