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Brand Strategy Brewdog Beer

The beer brand calling BrewDog ‘LooDog’ opens up on stunt

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By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

February 9, 2023 | 7 min read

BrewDog, now a beer leader, gets trolled by a plucky startup brewer. The brew is now on the other foot.

Loo Dog campaign in front of BrewDog's Black Heart activation

LooDog campaign in front of BrewDog’s Black Heart activation / Jubel

Peachy lager company Jubel has given BrewDog a taste of its own medicine in retaliation for disrupting one of its campaigns. On Sunday, the grass-roots beer brand encouraged rugby fans to chuck cans of BrewDog in a toilet in a stunt remarkably familiar to the early days of BrewDog marketing.

For a brand synonymous with trolling rival beer brands from Budweiser, to Carling, Fosters Steller and even Aldi, the tables have turned on BrewDog. Jubel co-founder Jesse Wilson says BrewDog has built its brand on being distinctive, but its approach has been “two fingers up to everyone, it’s all a bit polarizing”.

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While he was quick to credit the early achievements of the Scottish-based brewer telling The Drum: “To get to where it has is incredible and regardless of what you think of it, you’ve got to tip your hat off to it.” He says on the flipside there is “quite a lot of animosity around the brand now, you can’t believe everything you read but there is no smoke without fire.”

Wilson explains Jubel’s one-off jab at BrewDog isn’t a grand plan to replicate BrewDog’s prickly marketing strategies, however. LooDog isn’t here to stay.

“We [Jubel] just have a different approach. We talk about being a serious beer for unserious people,” Wilson says. “We just look at the beer market and think it’s just a beer have fun with it you don’t have to overly intellectualize it.”

The origins of ‘LooDog’

In November, Jubel’s field marketing manager, Emma Reynolds, went door to door to try and secure a driveway to rent in Twickenham to hand out free beers to rugby fans. Only to discover Twickenham driveways were impossible to book, with some vendors having decade-long deals with residents.

After finally finding a location and running a successful activation Reynolds went to rebook the drive for the Six Nations tournament only to discover BrewDog had booked it to promote its Guinness challenger Black Heart Stout.

“This is classic BrewDog. We had this idea and we posted it on LinkedIn and people from BrewDog liked it, so they knew what we were doing,” Wilson accuses.

At Jubel’s monthly ‘beers and brainstorm’ meeting at the pub the team came up with ideas of how to hit back at BrewDog with its first nugget of an idea ‘Poo Dog’ which eventually evolved into the “less crass” ‘LooDog’.

“So much hard work had gone into it, and we were just really annoyed that got ripped from under our feet because someone had copied it,” he expressed. “The only reason we were there is because our idea got copied in the first place, so we just thought it was a funny tongue-in-cheek response.”

The stunt was pushed organically with posts from Jubel garnering 1.1m LinkedIn views, 35,000 TikTok views and 30,000 Instagram views.

In a statement to The Grocer, BrewDog responded: “These Jubel people are just trying to draw attention to themselves by saying outrageous things on social media and hoping journalists will turn it into priceless PR. It’s disgraceful. No brand is ever going to succeed with tactics like that.”

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It’s all familiar tactics for the brand which has itself generated a fair share of priceless PR over the years. But Wilson hit back explaining how the concept was just a way to get “cans in hands” or “liquid into lips” which was what the original Twickenham activation was about.

“BrewDog marketing has historically been purely for PR reasons, but our marketing is always product based and trying to find ways to actually get people drinking Jubel,” he says. There’s no media plan behind the LooDog stunt, arguably besides this interview (which we requested).

“We aren’t sat here with loads of media lined up to blow it up like you would do a PR campaign,” he says. “It’s organic, it’s a one-off, it was an idea we came up with at the pub and it was fun, we aren’t going to do it to death.”

The toilet will be auctioned off and the money donated to a LinkedIn user who posted looking for donations to run the London marathon in a toilet costume.

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