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case study: Old Blue Last Beer by VICE Media

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Maker of content VICE Media is a millennial media company with a network of digital channels, TV networks, a magazine, a record label, and a ready-made audience of young LDA+ consumers fuelled by culturally relevant experiences and good times. In October 2016, AB InBev and Vice joined forces to create a new beer in the US, Old Blue Last (OBL), named after the 400-year-old London pub owned by the media company.

VICE Media UK hired Sarah Feeney on a short-term consultancy basis to advise the team on its NYC launch. 

Background

ABI & VICE were set to launch a beer called Old Blue Last, named after VICE’s pub/music venue in London.

The launch was to be in their hometown neighbourhood of Brooklyn, NYC, but the team struggled to meet the hard deadline as they had never released a beer before.

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The growth strategy was to leverage VICE loyalty to create fans for Old Blue Last beer. But a quick and robust solution was needed to align that strategy within their complex matrix organisation and the context of a heavily regulated alcoholic beverage industry...all within a 4-month deadline.

The Solution

A cross-functional role was created to unite multiple directors and creative and marketing departments to ensure all Old Blue Last interactions reflected and upheld VICE values and expressions.

Production and operational teams were similarly aligned, and a roadmap was created with all teams being fully accountable for their dates and targets. 

A simple but formal plan connected partnership, sponsorship and liquid-to-lips opportunities to ensure Old Blue Last was introduced to every VICE fan within New York City. 

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The 4-month project saw Old Blue Last launch on time and to budget on October 15th.

Before finishing the UK contract, the work helped secure distribution in 37 lighthouse accounts in NYC.

All accounts were activated and supported by marketing and the Brand Ambassador.

THIS WORK IS FOR YOU IF

You're about to launch a new product or line offering and need to ensure it's on-brand, aligned with core strategy, and fully integrated within the brand architecture.

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