Brand Slam: BrewDog vs Guinness

Beer brands are staging activations themed around pop-up bars and football.

BrewDog: showcased alcohol-free drinks at festival
BrewDog: showcased alcohol-free drinks at festival


Event structure 

The independent craft brewer has worked with Amplify and Social Jungle. 

Social footprint

@Brewdog has 133,900 followers, its Facebook page has close to 378,000 "likes" and its Instagram account has 305,000 followers. 

Recent campaigns

BrewDog set up a hidden bar in the remote Scottish Highlands for its Lone Wolf gin brand. It challenged people via social media to find the location. The pop-up rewarded those who could name the location with free gin, while a year’s supply of the spirit was up for grabs for the first five who solved the riddles and locate the bar.

The brewer also staged a tour of European cities to drive trials of Punk IPA and awareness of the brand among a more mainstream audience. The "Punk state" truck made stops in cities including Barcelona and Hamburg, dropping off beer to consumers who engaged with the hashtag #PunkState and tweeted BrewDog to explain why they deserve free beer. The truck was also stationed at city centres, handing out free cans and bottles of Punk IPA.

Latest campaign 

As part of Dry January, BrewDog hosted an alcohol-free festival, featuring talks, tasting sessions and alcohol-free brewers and products. Hosted in London for one day, BrewDog aimed to show that going alcohol-free does not meaan compromising on taste. 


Event structure 

The Diageo brand has worked with HeyHuman, Hope & Glory and Inkling on its experiential activities. 

Social footprint 

@GuinnessIreland has 69,200 followers and @GuinnessGB has 26,300 followers. The brand's Facebook page has 6.6 million "likes". 

Recent campaigns

To bring to life research that showed at Christmas Brits like nothing better than catching up with friends at their local, Guinness opened a pub in December. The venue was only big enough to fit five people and featured a firelplace, bar snacks and board games. 

Latest campaign 

Guinness reached out to former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand, who took part in a night-football event in Lagos, Nigeria. The activation, which took place at the end of January, featured a five-a-side game, live music and fan activities.

The brand created a month-long pop-up to showcase the work of its Dublin facility – the Guinness Open Gate Brewery – to Londoners. Visitors could enjoy a pint of Open Gate Brewery’s beers, including the US West Coast-style Citra IPA and Pilsner, alongside a range of exclusive and special brews, such as a chilli-flavoured stout and festive Christmas beer.

Campaign says

BrewDog's marketing has previously been characterised by shock tactics. Its more recent activations strike just the right balance of tongue-in-cheek attitude and the promotion of its products, proving both entertaining and educational for beer and spirit fans. 

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