A bold new ad campaign is jacking up awareness to PBR’s visit to our nation’s capital while creating a bit of controversy.
The outdoor campaign, promoting the tour’s inaugural visit to Washington, D.C. shows a bull in front of the iconic U.S. Capitol building with the headline “And You Thought This Town Couldn’t Handle Any More Bulls#*t.”
The ad creative debuted this week on 250 DC Metro subway cars and 18 Super King buses in the Washington, D.C. area. Ads are running up to the September 22-23 event in Fairfax at EagleBank Arena.
But one location banned the new ad. PBR tried to purchase available outdoor space not far from the Capitol, but the landlord selling the giant two-wall billboard refused to run it.
Still, all indications are fans on both ends of the political spectrum are in on the joke.
“Whether you’re on the left or the right, there’s one thing everyone can agree on, and we address it with tongue firmly planted in cheek,” said Sean Gleason, CEO, PBR. “Our campaign is breaking through in a busy, cluttered market to announce PBR is in town. The tone is honest, fun, and a little bit rebellious, which matches our cowboy brand.”
The campaign was created in house in a collaboration between PBR and Endeavor Creative.
“It’s a very funny and a little edgy play by the PBR, who usually have played it straight up to appeal to a conservative demo,” said Joe Favorito, a professor of sports management at Columbia University. “What’s really great about the campaign is it plays no politics, and speaks to a pretty clear theme for both sides of the aisle.”
The ads are projected to generate five million impressions. Social media and radio chatter promise millions more.
Fans are encouraged to snap and share a selfie with the advertisement tagged to @PBR for a chance to win tickets in the “shark cage,” one of the most exclusive and extreme seats in sports, located on the dirt in the middle of the bull riding playing field where a CBS camera is stationed.
Additionally, four iHeart Radio stations in the D.C. area are running a “Call 'em on their bullsh*t" promotion. Listeners who call out their friends and family on their BS whoppers on the air will have a chance to win free tickets to the Fairfax event.
When the campaign broke on DC metro transit, PBR saw an immediate spike in ticket sales for the Fairfax event, including dozens of employees in the Pentagon, according to Ellen Newberg, SVP of Live Event Marketing.
“Generating awareness is our number one goal in marketing PBR in D.C., and we’re hoping to catch lightning in a bottle,” Newberg said. “The ad execution looks fantastic, and we’re excited about the growing social buzz. There’s one particular guy in this town who’s pretty well connected to his phone with tweets covered all day long, so who knows.”
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