I was so delighted with this trade video produced for the Annual Trade Conference of Britain's Society of Independent Brewers that I went and bought some British beer on the way home. You will have to excuse my unabashed support but, you may recall, embassy paperwork reminds me I am British myself... not to mention more immediately a mapled man of the Commonwealth. Large portions of beef remind me of Waterloo rather than the Alamo. I grew up on tea and marmalade. My heart is in the Highlands. Grandpa argued with Lord Mountbatten about fixing his flagship, HMS Kelly. I have Oor Wullie annuals. Yet there is an exoticism of place the video that reminds me and all who watch it - another place, Britain.
SIBA's promo film follows the format of some cookie cutter US craft beer trade "adthems" that were foisted upon us the last few years but then SIBA takes the theme, turns it inside out and makes us all join in - even to the point of unease about what went before. How does it do this? It is not negative. Imagine that! I'd go back and tell you how many times "not" shows up in I am a Craft Brewer but then I would have to watch it again. Compare to that the SIBA offering today, this is all land of hope and glory. It is inclusive and attractive. Confident and places beer in the context of the whole trade, the whole economy and the whole nation.
I can't agree with Jay that this is somehow a response to neo-prohibition. SIBA makes its point at a critical time when the UK economy is wracked or even wrecked, taxes are being raised and public services cut. The film even makes the point that raising taxes on beer senselessly has led to a cut in the gross taxation of beer due to a drop in sales. No finger pointery for SIBA, no, this is an ode to effort and unity, taking on the task, sharing the load fairly and getting the job done.
Pete wrote the script and he does make the point that this is about being positive. Am I going to get that from someone fretting about using corn or rice? Hardly. Am I going to think that after being told about how the bulk of beer fans are deluded and tricked by industrial forces. Not at all. Pete guides us back to the better story, the story that beer is best, beer is big and beer is worth admiration and respect.
It's still a promo. But it works very well.