Thursday, June 15, 2006

Alexander Keith's could do better

I've never been in the beverage or beer business, but if I were client-side over at Alexander Keith's brand, I may have challenged the thinking behind a recently launched contest. Here is how Marketing Magazine describes the new promo:

"Keith's is asking customers to "Turn Over The Tartan" as part of its first national integrated promotion. Customers can peel away a specially-designed tartan label on Keith's bottles to win Roots apparel and HMV Gift Certificates" along with other prizes.

I wonder if the Keith's client considered any of the items below which, for myself, seemed out of step:

· Turn Over the Tartan seems to be the alcoholic equivalent to Tim Hortons Roll-Up the Rim to Win. Nothing new or exciting here.
· Given the recent publicity surrounding the arrest of Keith's spokesperson who is accused of possessing child pornography, it is a questionable image to put out to the public (i.e. to look under anyone's tartan) given the timing since this news broke.
· Aside from the above point, is this the right message to communicate assuming that the target audience is likely heterosexual twenty something guys? Are they really keen to look under any tartan? Or, am I missing the point here when I assume that the tartan they are referring to is supposed to be on a Scotsman, or is it on Britney Spears?

I like Keith's, I think it is a good beer. For all I know this promo may work well. The site is ok but, I don't see anything breakthrough here.

On another note, I was at a party recently and Heineken was all the rage. Why? The new aluminum bottle packaging. Very cool. The sexiness and appeal of the packaging is working overtime for the brand image. Everyone was talking about it and the chatter was all good for Heineken.

I'd really love to know your comments on this one. Do you think Keith's is on or off with "Turn over the Tartan?


At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Ed said...

I was drinking Keith's quite a bit this weekend and none of the guys I was with seemed to think about any conatations - they were more concerned with the odds of winning the prizes.

1 in 4 million for the SUV/plasma and 1 in 240 for a $2 HMV voucher...I'd be more concerned about that leading to irresponsible drinking and alcohol abuse if I were the marketing manager.

Welcome to the conversation - hope you get a chance to check out my own blog at

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Michael Seaton said...

Thanks for your feedback Ed. You make some good points about the odds of winning and the irresponsible drinking angle.

I will check out your blog.

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually heard today from someone at labatt's that the original name for the promo was "Look Under The Kilt." I kid you not. They changed it for the obvious reasons.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Dave Jones said...

I actually heard today from someone at labatt's that the original name for the promo was "Look Under The Kilt." I kid you not. They changed it for the obvious reasons.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger Michael Seaton said...

Hey David,
That's exactly what scares me, this was a watered down version of something more problemeatic for their brand. Yes they are a beer and should have some fun, but I found it to be in poor taste (no pun) everything else considered.

I enjoy your PR Works podcast and blog. Thanks for dropping by.

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Coop said...

I stumbled on this blog because I wanted to tell someone how much a pain it is to actually remove the tartan label in one legible piece.

The "looking under one's tartan" and the recent bad publicity did occur to me.

Perhaps they should've opted for something a little more fun like "hike/lift up your kilt" which a crowd usually shouts between vocals during the traditional song The Wild Rover.

Well it's no nay never
(hike up your kilt)
no nay never no more,
well we'll play the wild rover
no never, no more.

Anyway, yeah. These labels are difficult to remove.


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