Exceptional Marketing on a Budget

While I’m away, here’s a little something to brighten your Friday. Old Town Brewing, the unassuming little brewery on Northeast MLK, has been quietly putting out some of the best videos in the business. The men behind these gems are Joe Sanders, the charismatic frontman, and Jordan Wilson, the cinematographer/director. I believe the writing is shared. Most of the videos are straightforward, like this one, where Joe introduces a new fruit beer. It is already well ahead most breweries’ game.

But the two also shoot fun videos like the following. It’s over-the-top and silly—but intentionally so. They are in on the gag and playing along. It’s charming and amusing—and most importantly, effective. The point of the beer is well-made. Have a look.

The pièce de résistance, however, are a series where the brewery spoofs David Attenborough’s stuffed-shirt Planet Earth series. There’s really no reason to explain the concept; just have a look. This is the most recent “episode,” and the best:

The production values, writing, and comic timing here boggle my mind. I posted the link on social media, and some people commented on the visible fishing string as a distraction. Quite the opposite; it’s an intentional wink to the viewer: this is supposed to be funny. Otherwise, the quality is so high it almost wouldn’t seem like a spoof.

Think about all the dreck that floods the commercial breaks between brief moments of violence on Super Bowl Sunday. This is funnier than nearly every one of those (half of which make you cringe), and the production values are Weiden + Kennedy-level. It is very much in the hilarious, offbeat tradition of the fantastic 70s and 80s beer ads from the here in the Northwest (Rainier, Henry Weinhard, Olympia), which is another wink to locals.

I would love to encourage everyone to buy their creative director a camera and say go nuts, but this is clearly a rare nexus of talent. So just enjoy instead.

Jeff AlworthComment