Beer Promotion in Times Square


We were hired by the Radeberger Gruppe to help build awareness in New York City for their new Heffewizen Grapefruit beer, Schofferhofer.  Radeberger is the largest private brewing company in Germany, and has been staying true to its German heritage since 1872. Launching a fairly radical flavor for American audiences in Schofferhofer was a creative challenge. Interestingly, the beer is extremely well received by those who taste it, so the challenge was getting the brand in front of enough taste makers to have an impact.

Radeberger knew that billboard advertising was a logical approach to introducing the product to a market as large as New York City.  They were frustrated by both how passive and unmeasurable billboard advertising is. Our goal at Llewellyn Creative was to solve both of those problems – to make the adverting campaign engaging and to make the impact directly measurable. We knew that actionable data, combined with the life-time value of any potential new customers generated by our efforts, would make the initial investment in the pilot program well worth the associated costs. We wanted to give Radeberger both return on investment and social engagement. 


Creative Solutions Using New Technology

The first step was to partner with Superior Digital Displays, which has high resolution digital billboards throughout Times Square. We chose to run this campaign on their Triple Play boards on the corner of 7th Ave & 49th St. The central blade is 130 feet tall, and is flanked by two horizontal 52 foot wide displays. We knew that with their digital billboard systems they could live stream any website onto their billboards. So we built two custom websites that we could update from the street.  Our plan was to photograph people on the street, in the heart of Times Square, and have their portraits go straight up to the digital billboards for them to see, take photos of on their phones, and share with their friends on social media. We served them up an unexpected moment of celebrity, and they shared their pictures and the Schofferhofer brand with all of their friends. What could have been a passive glance at a billboard became a Facebookable moment.

What Happened?

  • Over 4,500 pieces of user generated content created and shared on social media.
  • 45% increase in social media fans.
  • 55% increase in search for “Schofferhofer” compared to the previous month.
  • 5,600 increase in people visiting the brand website compared to the previous month.

Want To Learn More About The Details?

That is the 40,000 foot view, but details that went into making the campaign as successful as it was are interesting from a logistical point of view. The main event was the photography live in Times Square, but leading up to that we softened the ground by creating a teaser billboard campaign that had a live countdown to the street promotion. We also partnered with local bars that were featuring Schofferhofer, photographing their staff and promoting them on the billboards weeks leading up to the shoot. The week of the shoot we had promotions in each of these bars as well pushing the Times Sq street promo. 


Here’s a sample of the teaser creative running on one of the horizontal billboards.

The night before the street promotion began, we set up a photo studio on the roof deck of a midtown bar and took photos of patrons, photo booth style. We uploaded those photos immediately to our custom built websites that were streaming live on the billboards a few blocks away in Times Square. We had another photographer in the square photographing the billboards as the portraits were shown. The photographer’s assistant uploaded his images to a second web site that we built that we had live streaming in the bar. The result was that a patron could have her portrait taken on the roof deck, and within minutes she could see a picture of herself live in Times Square on a 130 foot billboard on all the TVs in the bar. 


The flyer handed out by the street team.

The actual street promotion lasted three nights. We hired a street team of models to help encourage passersby to get involved and handout giveaways and a list of participating bars. To further draw attention to the spectacle, we had a live feed 4k camera mounted on the billboard that streamed the whole scene on two horizontal billboards in real time. Over the course of those three nights, despite some inclement weather, we photographed 780 people and put them up in the square. We also continued to have our second photographer document each rotation of the billboard. Those photographs were put into galleries on a third website that we built, and our street team handed out flyers with the unique URL that participants could visit to download the photograph of themselves up on the billboard to share on social media. Of the 780 people we photographed, we had 258 unique users to the site in the days after the event.

The beauty of this promotion was that it was engaging and measurable. Between the microsite and the social media traffic we could get a much more accurate representation of the impact of the billboard, and we could give Radeberger an idea of how effective the campaign could be beyond it’s pilot stage. 

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