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Band of Brands

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

Newcastle Brown Ale shells out for a (crowdfunded) Super Bowl ad

Following on from last year’s If we made it campaign, Newcastle Brown Ale has revealed its play for this year’s big game.

In a series of spots featuring Aubrey Plaza, the brand issued a call out to brands across America, asking them to pool their marketing budgets to create a Band of Brands, airing the first crowd-funded Super Bowl ad.

Over January, the beer brand worked with Droga5, New York to encourage other marketing departments to join the effort, and have their logo and messaging featured in a big game spot, in exchange for a small contribution. Interested companies were able to submit their proposal for consideration at

The result? The final spot is stuffed with messaging from a total of 37 brands, including Beanitos Chips, Vanity Fair and The spot was released on the campaign site prior to the game, and will air on live TV in Palm Springs, California, which according to the brand, was the only place they could afford airtime.

The ad follows the brand’s unsuccessful attempt to win a Super Bowl spot by entering a certain snack chip maker’s crowdsourced Football Game Ad contest with a Newcastle beer ad cleverly disguised as a snack chip ad.


Contagious Insight / 

A No Bollocks heritage / Newcastle Brown has established a straightforward, honest voice and this ad is no exception. Once again, the brand has managed to characteristically poke fun at the advertising industry while also generating buzz for itself. Read more about this strategy in our in-depth 2014 case study on the brand.

Priscilla Flores Dohnert, brand director for Newcastle Brown Ale said, ‘Everyone loves a great underdog story. What’s more ‘underdog’ than being short on cash and not having the right to advertising during the game?’

Sharing is caring / It’s clear that the brand has concentrated considerable time and money to be part of the Super Bowl conversation to reinforce it’s disruptive positioning. By teaming up with other brands, Newcastle is extending the reach of its ad even further; 37 marketing departments are now actively promoting their ad. It’s a smart way for a challenger brand to leverage resource when the purse strings are tight.

Second album syndrome / Although Plaza’s sarcastic tone might cut through Super Bowl clutter, this year’s offering seems to be adding to the noise. When re-using a strategy, brands need to be careful to build up the campaign to be bigger and better year on year - a tricky, though not impossible, position to manage.

Band of Brands


This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact