Two weeks ago a raunchy 88-year old grandma appeared out of nowhere, touting a new craft beer — Ethel’s Brew.
It turns out it was all a marketing stunt. Behind it all was the popular ad agency DDB Worldwide, who created the brand and the fictional Ethel as part of an elaborate plan to boost awareness for the company during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
DDB Worldwide’s Chief Creative Offiver, Amir Kassaei was the brainchild behind the idea. The beer was contract brewed by Brasserie Duyck in Jenlain, France and 15,000 bottles were distributed during the festival.
“This year in Cannes, instead of just throwing a huge expensive party, we wanted to create something that would be far-reaching, reflective of DDB’s creative nature, and showcase the use of social creativity to produce tangible results for a brand in a short two-week time frame,” Kassaei said in a press release. “Anyone can throw an over-the-top party, but pulling off a brand and product launch on a shoestring budget is a more exciting challenge for our teams.”
AdWeek reports that the so-called “shoestring budget” was $160,000 and apparently the campaign generated 2.9 million impressions. That’s not bad for just two weeks of prep time.
Ethel’s future is undetermined, but we would guess she gets laid to rest. She is 88 after all.