Camden Town Brewery Launches Inaugural TV Advertising Campaign

Austin Ray
Characters%5b1%5d.jpg

THE GIST
Camden Town Brewery has launched its first ever TV advertising campaign. The London-based brewery—which was acquired by AB-InBev in 2015—has teased its Raise Hells campaign on its social media channels since Monday (Sept. 4), and will air throughout September exclusively on the ITV network. The adverts feature a set of four unconventional Londoners, including a blues musician and a blind actress, and were created in partnership with advertising guru Sir John Hegarty, who, by coincidence, is also the father-in-law of Camden’s founder Jasper Cuppaidge.

WHY IT MATTERS
This is the first nationally televised advertising campaign from a modern craft brewery in the UK and further evidence that ABI is increasingly focusing on harnessing the growing demand for craft on this side of the pond. With this high production-value campaign, ABI is bringing Camden to a massive prime time UK TV audience, and pitching the Camden brand to the mainstream in a big way.

Aside from the a brand new 400,000-HL brewhouse in Enfield (making it the largest new brewery in London for more than 30 years), there haven’t yet been many outward signs of ABI’s purchase of Camden Town. This campaign changes that, and is a clear sign that the company is invested in making sure Camden becomes a household name.

The decision to focus on the “Raise Hells” message within the campaign is unsurprising. Hells Lager is very much Camden’s flagship, a beer integral to the brewery’s identity. It’s also not a shock that the adverts focus on people and location rather than the product itself. Camden’s identity has always been about a sense of occasion and getting together with friends, with the beer itself taking more of a back seat.

The emphasis on location (the adverts protagonists articulate what the spirit of Camden means to them) is particularly telling. In July, the brewery’s new site opened in Enfield, 12 miles from Camden’s original home, so it’s understandable that ABI are keen to reinforce, and tie back into, the brewery’s local credentials. Cuppaidge himself obviously feels a strong affiliation to the area of London in which the brewery was born:

“Camden is not only our home and namesake, it’s a place that constantly inspires us—from the culture, to the history, to the incredible people living and working within the borough,” Cuppaidge said in a press statement.

On the whole, the Raise Hells campaign feels like signal of intent that ABI wants to maneuver the brewery as the go-to mainstream craft beer brand within the UK. Their beer is already available on the shelves of most supermarkets and in pubs up and down the country. Soon, it will be on the screens in our living rooms.

—James Beeson