Magazine article Marketing

Tennent's Taps into Youth through Music

Magazine article Marketing

Tennent's Taps into Youth through Music

Article excerpt

It's a sultry Saturday night in Glasgow, and a beery roar greets pop group Elastica as they mount the stage and belt out the first chords of their latest hit single. But this isn't only rock and roll, this is advertising.

The band is one of 60 performing at T in the Park, a medium-sized rock festival held earlier this month in Glasgow. The entire event is supported by Tennent's Caledonian Breweries, which is opening up a new arena in brand sponsorship.

The key difference between this event and a thousand others 'supported' by corporate sponsors is that Tennent's initiated the event and it is named after Tennent's red T branding device.

"We made it happen, we originated it," says John Donnelly, deputy managing director of KLP Scotland, which helped set up the event. "Any brand can come along and slap its name on a poster."

Since the late 80s Tennent's has considered its association with rock music to be vital in gaining credibility in the important 18- to 24-year-old market. "This group was more rejecting of the brand. They are quite cynical of traditional forms of advertising," says Scott Menneer, sponsorship manager for Bass, which owns Tennent's. "If we create something to aspire to, the loyalty will rub off on the brand." It believes in catching them young and keeping hold.

The Tennent's Live programme of about a hundred individual gigs a year has been running in Scotland for seven years. Yet Scotland never had its own rock festival and three years ago Tennent's and KLP decided to push the association with music by launching T in The Park.

"Tennent's made a brave decision," says Donnelly. "Rock festivals have a chequered history. Companies are worried that people are going to drink a lot and take drugs."

Tennent's promotional brow

To guard against a flop Tennent's brought in an experienced rock promoter, DF Concerts, to set up the event. The deal was simple the promoter would pay for the bands and site, and earn money from the ticket sales and on-site trading concessions. Tennent's supported the event with an ad campaign, but receives no revenue from it directly.

The first event last year was headlined by Primal Scream, Oasis and Blur. KLP backed it with roadside posters, TV ads and PR. …

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