Beavertown challenged us to drive talkability for its iconic IPA Neck Oil this summer by creating fame with media and right at the point of purchase — at pubs, the off-trade, and festivals.
The campaign had to target a predominantly male consumer range, aged 25-34.
We delved into the genesis of the product Neck Oil and discovered that the name came from Beavertown’s founder's grandfather, who used to disappear to the pub to "oil his neck" (hence, Neck Oil). We loved this story, for it confirmed that the beer did a great job of lubricating the inside of the neck... but how could we leverage this to go beyond and solve a problem for the target audience while creating that buzz?
At the same time, we looked at culture and what was happening in the world, particularly how it could affect the target audience. There were several news articles in the media about how 2023 was going to be the hottest summer yet, rising global temperatures through climate change, the hottest day on record, etc. It also transpired that, after drinking alcohol, the body can metabolise it into a compound called acetaldehyde, which makes the skin more sensitive to UV rays.
So, we landed on an execution that could help combat this problem for the target audience, recognising the cultural narrative around record temperatures, while also remaining true to the brand and product. Hence, Oil Your Neck was born — the first sun cream from a beer brand to help protect the outside of men’s necks while the complimentary Neck Oil beer lubricated the inside of their necks.
We spoke with a UK-based charity Melanoma UK, who ratified that British men have a real problem applying suncream because they think it is not manly enough. And yet it can lead to health complications and skin cancer. They needed to target this hard-to-reach segment of men who aren't listening to skin-charity communications but did pay attention to Beavertown; so, Melanoma UK became the perfect charity partner. Similarly, we found a sunscreen manufacturer, Lifejacket, which was able to produce the sunscreen for us in Beavertown branding.
We produced 15,000 sachets of Oil Your Neck, given out free to men (and women) in UK pubs, festivals, beer gardens, and parks when they ordered a Neck Oil. We also installed dispensers in 20 pubs up and down the country. Packaging mirrored the product itself and felt like a parallel product: playful and fun, despite the fact it was doing a purposeful job in helping to prevent skin damage from people’s necks, backs, faces, and arms.
We conducted our own research to understand the behaviours of UK men and women when applying sunscreen (in order to generate news angles) and created a suite of picture assets of Oil Your Neck and Neck Oil across a two-week period, targeting national news media first, followed by regional as the dispensers were rolled out access the nation’s pubs
The campaign picked up over 70 pieces of coverage in national news titles (both print and online), consumer lifestyle, broadcast, and trade publications — all the while making the link between the two products: Neck Oil and Oil Your Neck.
Notable coverage includes MSN, The Express (three times), The Sun, The Daily Mirror (twice), the Evening Standard, LADBible, Metro, Joe.co.uk, The Star, Yahoo! News, BBC Radio Nottingham, Radio X, and Virgin Radio.
Chris Evans said on his Virgin Radio breakfast show: “Well done, Beavertown, you have done a good job of getting this past the editors.” At the time of submitting this, we were unable to quantify signs up to the Melanoma UK website / newsletter but its CEO Gill Nutall had this to say: "Oil Your Neck targets this audience in an environment they can identify with, enabling us to engage with them and provide potentially life-saving educational information, helping to evoke behavioural change when it comes to the importance of sun safety."