Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Raise a Glass

You may have gathered that I am no huge fan of the largely spiritless corporate brewing giants who appear to be in the market for money rather than for the pursuit of beer and beery excellence. Don’t get me wrong – I understand why they do what they do and that there has to be big brewers so we can better appreciate the little guys – I just pay them that much attention.

Which is probably why this promotion caught my eye. It seems that, while it is clearly part of a marketing campaign to raise brand awareness and cement revenue streams, this particular ploy appears to have some element of social conscience and respect for culture and tradition.

The ‘Raise a Glass’ campaign is driven by Foster’s major brand, Victoria Bitter, in conjunction with Legacy and the RSL. The first thing that struck me is that the whole VB branding is almost invisible, set into the site as a subtle understatement rather than a fan-faring ‘look at me, look at me!!’ kind of grandstanding. The purpose of the promotion (apart from shifting units) is to remember and honour those who have served in military conflicts around the world over the past century.

Timed to tap into the ANZAC Day commemorations the program is as much about raising awareness as it is about raising funds. Funds are raised by donations through the website as well as through sales at bars and clubs. RSLs and other clubs will also have kegs of VB donated by Foster’s.

But it is the website and ad campaign that convinced me that there may actually be a heart beating faintly somewhere within the beast that is Foster’s as they both tap into a deeper understanding of the sacrifices and courage of our fallen diggers. The site provides a kind of forum where ex and currently serving soldiers and their families can contribute pictures and stories that will ensure that the events and incidents which don’t qualify for the history books are not lost when the last of these men and women pass away.

For anyone who enjoys a beer and a good yarn and has some sense of the ties that really bind a Nation’s culture, this site is worth a look. And if you can, get out on ANZAC Day and raise a glass to those who fought so that you could have a nice cold beer and not have to ask for it in Japanese or German. Even if it is only a VB.

Prof. Pilsner

No comments: