DDB claims enigmatic “Ethel’s Brew” beer launch at Cannes Lions 2012

Ads, Advertising, Cannes Lions

DDB Worldwide unveiled it is the agency responsible for Ethel’s Brew – a new beer  recently introduced at the Cannes Lions 2012.

Featuring the tagline “Go Out With a Bang”, the effort was created to raise awareness of DDB’s successful social creativity approach through the case-in-point development of an exceptionally creative brand with only a two-week marketing window and minimal budget.

Positioned and marketed as the product of an eccentric elderly woman in Brooklyn, the brand and Ethel character were the brainchild of Amir Kassaei, DDB Worldwide’s Chief Creative Officer, and his creative team.

The beer was contract brewed by Brasserie Duyck in Jenlain (France), with 15,000 units distributed during Cannes Lions 2012 festival. Buzz on websites and in social media throughout the week established the brand’s image with thousands of mentions in blogs, articles and social media about the “Ethel” character and the brew.

This year in Cannes, instead of just throwing a huge expensive party, we wanted to create something that would be far-reaching, reflective of DDB’s creative nature, and showcase the use of social creativity to produce tangible results for a brand in a short two-week time frame (…) Anyone can throw an over-the-top party, but pulling off a brand and product launch on a shoestring budget is a more exciting challenge for our teams.

Amir Kassaei

We wanted to do something unexpected (…) Like take an 88-year-old woman and have her create demand by engaging with consumers with unpredictable and funny messages on Twitter and Facebook. Or have her make a low-budget home video introducing Ethel’s Brew in her outdated, 70’s decor living room

Chuck Brymer

CEO of DDB Worldwide

To support the launch of Ethel’s Brew, DDB’s largely digital marketing campaign was released over 14 days starting June 12, ahead of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The effort included disseminating sharable video and image content via seeding and social media while simultaneously engaging fans and encouraging follows through Ethel’s persona on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more.

“Go Out With a Bang” campaign features seven video spots portraying the eccentric and fun personality of Ethel’s Brew namesake Ethel Goldschmidt. Additionally, nine out-of-home (OOH) print executions were prominently placed in OOH units and as wild postings across town throughout the Cannes Lions Festival until June 25. Ethel’s videos and images appeared on highly trafficked websites such as Funny or Die and Blend.nl, in addition to niche beer blogs such as ratebeer.com and brewbound.com. Also, there was a special app for iPad.







DDB Worldwide ranks among the top five consolidated advertising and marketing services global networks, according to Advertising Age. DDB emphasizes Social Creativity to grow the value and influence of brands around the world by creating ideas that people want to play with, participate in and pass along. The agency is consistently one of the most awarded at the Cannes Lions and was recognized by The Gunn Report as one of the Top 3 Global Networks for 10 of the last 12 years. DDB Worldwide is part of Omnicom Group Inc. (OMC) and consists of more than 200 offices in over 90 countries.