Interview with Ryan Workman | Brand Manager | Breckenridge Brewery
TAP| What inspired you to do a DCC Beer and launch a contest?
RW| When Comic Con first came to Denver, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine two passionate fandoms – beer and comic culture. Whether it’s brewing or cosplay, the people of Denver don’t do things halfway. So, in all honesty, it just sounded like a whole lot of fun. We wanted to connect with the fanatics of Comic Con as much as possible. Every year we get hundreds of name entries and thousands of votes for the final beer name. And then all of these pop-culture followers get to watch this name that they chose come to life on a collectable glass, designed by a popular comic artist. Plus, this program helps the Comic Con non-profit Pop-Culture Classroom, a non-profit that focuses on literacy. The inspiration was the pure passion behind this unique, elaborate, artistic pop-culture collective. All we had to do was add beer, and the fans created something amazing.
TAP| How did working on this project shape how you do business?
RW| The Denver Comic Con program served as an example of how a small, fun labor of love can scale up into something beneficial for all parties involved. Bars surrounding the Convention Center get exclusive tap-ins of the official Comic Con beer. The custom glassware has become such a commodity, we’re able to leverage glass give-aways to draw crowds to our accounts. Fun for con-goers, and great for business. We’ve been able to use the DCC project as an example for how to successfully grow other partnerships and event campaigns.
TAP| What was the most challenging element of the project?
RW| I’d say the most challenging part every year is nailing down the beer recipe. We want something interesting that will uphold the overall esoteric nature of Comic Con, so it’s a great opportunity for our brewers to experiment, but we also need it to be easy-going and drinkable for an all-day event. My favorite element of the program is the glassware designs, and watching how each artist produces unique interpretations of the beer name.
TAP| What has the DCC Beer project taught you?
RW| We learned that the best kind of marketing comes from truly contributing to the organic culture of the city you’re in. Instead of trying to artificially excite consumers with your brand alone, find a way to naturally connect your brand with something that’s already exciting.
TAP| What do you love most about this project and/or client?
RW| Overall, I love this project because it’s a compilation of all my favorite stuff. We get to contribute to a thriving Denver sub-culture; we raise funds for an important non-profit; and from a marketing standpoint, we’ve established solid equity to a point where fans look forward to what we’re doing every year, while still having the flexibility to make unique creative changes.
TAP| Do you have a key take-a-way for our readers about this project?
RW| A key takeaway for anyone in marketing is that the industry is changing. Gone are the days of slapping on your logo and it’s done. The best way we can market our brand is to contribute to consumers daily lives, and the best way to do that is to see these advertising “platforms” of sorts as windows to creative expression.
2017: I am Brewt
2015: Hulk’s Mash
2014: Brews Wayne
2013: The Caped Brewsader
2012: Fantastic Pour
SOURCE: Artist Photos curated from their websites and channels. Beer art photos provided by Breckenridge Brewery.