In 2006, Australia’s most popular beer brand among 18-24 year olds, Tooheys Extra Dry, was under attack from up-market imports and spirit mixers. They couldn’t create a better Tooheys Extra Dry; that would diminish the standing of the parent brand. Instead, their client Lion Nathan Breweries launched Tooheys Extra Dry Platinum, with a stronger 6.5% alcohol- which crucially, they couldn’t mention. They therefore chose to create a dark mystique around the beer, positioning it as Tooheys Extra Dry’s ‘evil twin’. Their creative leap was to launch with the idea that volunteers were wanted to participate in ‘human testing’ this new beer to ensure that it was fit for consumption. And so the Platinum Testing Facility was born: a scientific organisation whose mission was to study the effects of TED Platinum. The campaign involved 4 phases- calling for volunteers, the testing phase; firstly online psychometric testing, then DNA collection and analysis, and finally the publishing of results. Over 30 different mediums were used, all of which were tailored to make a tongue in cheek idea feel as ‘real’ as possible. To date, there’s been 136,000 unique visitors to the website over 395,000 games have been played. They received sample bags literally oozing with hair, toe nails, bodily fluids and the like submitted for analysis, and to date there’s been some 13,500 enquiries for individual DNA results on the website. Most importantly, the campaign has seen TED Platinum grow from nowhere to become Australia’s 7th largest premium beer in just 5 months, without cannibalizing the parent brand. Their client Lion Nathan Breweries is ecstatic with the results.
Agency: BMF, Australia.