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Brief Published: 1 Dec 2016

BrewDog’s Marketing Gamble

In 2009, BrewDog enabled fans of its craft beer to invest in the company through the Equity for Punks scheme, and since then, more than 40,000 people have funnelled millions of dollars into the company. Now the US brand has announced a new fundraising venture: the ability to buy a “gamble share”.

When BrewDog fans invest money into a gamble share, they’re asked to choose between red or black. On the BrewDog blog, the founders claim they will take the money raised by these gamble shares to a casino and place a bet on the colour with the most support from investors. “If we win,” the founders write, “you double your equity. If we don’t, you lose it.” BrewDog will livestream the event in February 2017 so all investors can watch in real time as their money is potentially gambled away.

This is a canny bit of marketing, tapping into a number of themes we’ve been tracking on Stylus over the past year. The campaign is pitched as a bid to “shake the yawn-inducing financial establishment to its foundations”. As we saw in Brands Take a Stand, consumers are increasingly motivated by brands taking strong positions on crucial cultural issues, and for BrewDog, this initiative is about “taking a stand for rebellion [and] nonconformity”. The livestreaming element also brings the BrewDog community together around a real-time event – something which is prized by experience-junkie millennials (see US Consumers Prefer Experiences to Things).

We’ll have to wait and see if any of this is actually legal, however. Either way, it can only help to give BrewDog’s irreverent brand image another boost.