In 2011 Carlton Draught and Pulse Communications made a gastronomic breakthrough, combining two of Australia’s favourite ingredients – Beef and Beer – to create what many Aussies believed to be the greatest addition to BBQing since the invention of tongs – Carlton Draught Wagyu Beef, made from beer.

Carlton Draught is Australia’s most popular tap beer. Brewery fresh and made using the best Aussie ingredients, Carlton Draught is recognised throughout the country for its witty marketing campaigns and promotions (including the world-renowned Big Ad). For over 15 years Carlton Draught has carried the tag line ‘made from beer’. Where other brands try to delve deeper into the science, Carlton Draught keeps it simple. It’s the beer brand that likes to keep things in perspective… it’s beer.

Carlton Draught’s Massive Meat Wheel autumn promotion was no different. They took an Aussie pub tradition to a whole new level, giving drinkers a chance to win a spot on the world’s largest meat wheel (the London Eye) and spin for the $100,000 grand prize and a traditional Aussie meat tray. Carlton Draught issued Pulse Communications the challenge of helping to turn this consumer promotion into the biggest and most exciting campaign of the year.

So we thought, is there a better food combination than a good steak and a cold beer? What if that steak came from specially reared cattle, fed only the finest ingredients, developing a unique flavour profile that was designed to complement that fresh cold beer you were drinking?

Our platform was: “Carlton Draught Wagyu Beef, made from beer. Simple.”

In early 2011 Pulse was briefed by Carlton Draught to develop a campaign that helped raise awareness and drive entries into the Carlton Draught Massive Meat Wheel promotion. The brief was simple – generate coverage for the promotion and help us achieve our business goals. How we did it was left to us.

Business objective:
Reinforce Carlton Draught’s position as the number one tap beer in the country – making it every Aussie’s preference at the bar

Communication objectives:
1. Drive awareness and participation in the Carlton Draught Massive Meat Tray
2. Generate national awareness of the promotion

PR’ing a promotion is complicated. It’s fraught with roadblocks, loop holes, stone walls and dead ends. It wasn’t the way to go. We needed something more. A media campaign that captured imaginations and created awareness of the promotion without actually being ‘about’ the promotion.

Our approach was about creating a fun, experience-led media campaign that would appeal to every beer drinking, red-meat loving Aussie. By using the famous Carlton Draught ‘made from beer’ tag line as inspiration we set out to develop an idea that was deceptively simple, yet universally appealing.

• Build a broader story for Carlton and leverage experiential ideas to engage drinkers directly
• Leverage Carlton’s brand personality to create a unique platform that would drive talkability and media cut-through
• Utilise social media channels to drive engagement, competition entries and grow Carlton’s fan network

1. Secure more than 50 pieces of media coverage in key publications
2. Increase the number of entries from the last promotion by at least 20%
3. Recruit an additional 2,000 fans to the Carlton Draught Facebook page
After Pulse identified and secured one of Australia’s top Wagyu Beef farmers (Jac Wagyu) to provide the 20 head of cattle for the program, Carlton Draught shipped five tonnes of malted barley and two tonnes of hops (the two main ingredients in Carlton Draught) to his farm in northern New South Wales.

For a period of 60 days the premium F1 grade Wagyu cattle were fed the unique diet. Confident in the method behind the madness, the farmer kept a watchful eye over the cattle – as each day they took their portion of the $32,000 gourmet feed. Australia also watched patiently, waiting for the moment when they could test how effective the diet had been in developing a new ‘beer flavoured’ meat variety.

By developing a unique creative campaign around the promotion we were able to more than double the business objectives, securing 117 pieces of coverage nationwide and getting 100,000 Aussies to enter the promotion.

Media outreach:
As soon as the feed hit the cattle trough the PR campaign kicked into gear. Featuring three main phases, Pulse began by announcing the Wagyu Beef, made from beer, concept to the Australian media. Using images and videos of the cattle on the farm, along with the famer as our main spokesperson, we outreached to media, selling in the story and educating everyone from daily news journalists to specialist food writers about the process.

The second phase involved getting the meat in the mouths of Aussies. Using the premium quality meat, Pulse created Australia’s highest quality meat trays, which we used for a series of media tasting events, competitions and on-premise pub activations, as well as distributing them nationwide to influential Aussies looking to taste the Wagyu Beef, made from beer.

Throughout the March and April competition Pulse distributed 150 Carlton Draught Wagyu Beef meat trays to top-tier media, influencers and competition winners to assist in securing editorial coverage and generating conversations about the promotion.

The final phase of media outreach took place as the 16 finalists jetted off to London. Targeting local media outlets with stories about the local winners, Pulse was able to secure unique personalised stories – helping to highlight the success of the promotion and the accessibility of the brand to consumers.

Content creation:
Playing on Carlton Draught’s brand tone of voice (having a laugh), we designed cow costumes with Carlton Draught branding to be worn by the cattle during the launch photo shoot. Prior to the promotion going live, Pulse travelled to the farm in north-west NSW to shoot and capture photos and video footage which was edited and distributed to media.

Wagyu Beef, made from beer ‘Meat Ups’
Pulse held three media events at Australia’s largest publishing houses, serving Australia’s top media outlets Carlton Draught Wagyu Beef freshly grilled on-site by a specialist chef along with a cold Carlton Draught stubby.

To provide opportunities for consumers to taste Carlton Draught Wagyu Beef, twenty ‘Meat-up’ events were held at key pubs across the country. Pulse conducted targeted media outreach, created Facebook page event listings and targeted EDMs to promote each event. This activity helped drive patrons into venues, where they were encouraged to purchase Carlton Draught and enter the promotion.

London Shout
When the 16 finalists were on the ground in London Carlton Draught hosted a ‘London Shout’ offering expats a chance to enjoy a free cold Carlton Draught. Pulse worked with local London media and used the Carlton Draught Facebook page to raise awareness in the UK. Once the major winner was announced, Pulse distributed a news release to media securing local feature coverage for the prize winner.

Social media
Pulse managed the Carlton Draught Facebook page during the promotion with status updates, video/photo content regularly being updated as well as running meat tray giveaways to engage fans and drive promotion entries. During the promotion the level of interaction grew on the page by 217%. Key bloggers were also targeted throughout the program, given samples to test taste, photograph and review for their blog.