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Beck’s Beer: World’s First Playable Music Posters

As a part of New Zealand Music Month in May, beer company Beck’s released an innovative new poster idea with the public on the streets of New Zealand. These posters were the ‘world’s first’ playable music posters, consisting of a combination of conductive ink and other new technologies. The posters, which were a part of a larger campaign to support New Zealand musicians and recording artists, allowed people to listen to 10 new tracks by 10 great New Zealand artists. They could also add to and remix tracks with other tools included in the poster interface.

Becks Beer Playable Poster 1

The Entire Campaign

The entire campaign that involved these playable posters included a social arm, where the tracks from the poster were available to download, and the posters was eventually auctioned, as well as a graphic change in the design of the Beck’s beer labels. Not surprisingly, this was the aspect of the campaign that attracted the most attention, and it’s what we’re going to look out exclusively now.

Why It Works

It’s a Novelty

Most people are suckers for novelties. That is one of the simple truths of human existence, if it’s something new, we want to be involved with it. It doesn’t really matter so much what it’s about, or whether the main topic is of any interest to us, we want the new experience. The power in these novelty experiences is in their memorability, and Beck’s has really harnessed that in their campaign. If something is new people want to share it, talk about it and that means they’re remember not just the campaign, but the people who brought that to them.

It’s Not Obviously About Beer

Beer advertising is a complicated area. Most countries, New Zealand included, have regulations that mean that beer advertisements can’t show people drinking excessively, beer changing someone’s mood, or beer causing lifestyle (read: dating) successes. So, it’s a challenge to advertise a beer like Beck’s without showing what the public view as its qualities. That’s one of the reason that these advertisements are always great, because they’re about entertainment more than anything else.

In the case of Beck’s people who used the posters were entertained, people who viewed the posters were entertained, and people who were involved in the arms of the campaign were entertained by the idea. Of course, if doesn’t hurt to have the sneaky product poster next to the poster, just to cover your back.

Becks Beer Playable Poster 3

But It’s Not The First

Ok the last interesting thing to note about this Beck’s campaign is that, despite what they say, this is actually NOT the first interactive poster seen floating around in advertising in the last little while. Spotify did one, as did Schwartz. But, this is definitely the first time that these posters have been put out on the street, and one of the first times (that we’ve seen anyway) where there’s a speaker built into the poster itself. It is an interesting take on the new technologies that are allowing these kinds of advertising, and we’re definitely intrigued to see what marketers are going to do with it next. All around, a great guerrilla marketing campaign from Beck’s!

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