Photo: Old Milwaukee / YouTube
Old Milwaukee, a unit of the PabstBrewing Co., doesn’t like to make a big deal out of its ads. In fact, they seem to deliberately hide them.Business Insider has been diligently following their hidden ad gems over the past year, noting that each spot is in equal measure funny, memorable — and difficult to find.
Curious why a brand would do this, we set out to understand Old Milwaukee’s strategy/non-strategy, beginning with a conversation with the creators of, “Hey, Pass Me a Beer,” the latest Old Milwaukee commercial.
Meet Nick and Jack Packard.
Photo: Jack Packard
They are the creative duo behind “Hey, Pass Me A Beer,” and also happen to be brothers.
During the day, Nick is a marketing consultant, and Jack is the content supervisor for Funny or Die. By night, they are The Packard Brothers, “a truly odd mix of talent that creates a perfect storm of awesome.”
So, here’s the deal with the Old Mil commercial.
While sitting around the house one afternoon, Jack recalls, “we had this idea for beer passing. We did some test shots, and ended up going through three cases of our own beer. We needed more beer (obviously), so we asked Old Mil, and they were nice enough to supply the rest of the beer for the video.”
By the end of filming, they had gone through 192 beers! But, somehow had enough left for “a wicked after party.”
Once the video was edited and produced, the brothers shared it with Old Milwaukee. “They really liked it. But, initially, they wanted to put a harder promotional push behind the video,” said Jack.
Nick and Jack did not agree with this approach. Instead, they convinced Old Milwaukee to let them post the video on Funny or Die’s website to see what would happen.
“It had a very natural build-up,” notes Nick, however, “had there been a money exchange they [Old Milwaukee] would have wanted more control, so because we weren’t really getting paid for it, we were able to do things how we wanted.”
Shortly there after, “the video was illegally uploaded to a YouTube user’s page,” said Jack, and quickly went viral.
At its peak, that video had more than 6.5 million views. The brothers never asked the user to take the video down, only to give them a credit, but eventually the user removed the video. Today, the official video is still on YouTube, and has just over 700,000 views.
Nick went on to say “when videos are taken and put up on other pages that is usually a good thing … It sucks from a monetary point of view, but it’s the internet, so you take the good with the bad.”
Everyone loved working together so much that the brothers are now talking to Old Milwaukee about creating, “Hey, Pass Me a Beer 2.” They are hoping to stage similar beer passing stunts around the equipment at the Old Milwaukee factory. If all goes well, the video should be out sometime during the first half of 2013.
Here’s the video … in case you couldn’t find it.
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