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Continued: Summit Brewing is selling barrels by the laugh

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 28, 2013 - 6:26 PM

GdB was honored in 2011 for its Summit campaign by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, which presented the agency with a gold OBIE award, its top honor. GdB was recently named a finalist for a 2012 OBIE.

Summit said it chose GdB to market its product because the agency was local and not too big.

“We needed a full-service agency but we didn’t want one so big that we’d get lost [among other clients],” Matthews said.

GdB, a 16-year-old agency, has a staff of a little more than 30 with offices in downtown Minneapolis. Its client list ranges from food manufacturer Crystal Farms to Anytime Fitness.

The Summit campaign also lets individuals enter a contest with their own question where the monthly winner gets a $50 Summit gift card for use in the brewer’s gift shop.

The entry of a “Hillary H.” from St. Paul was featured on one Summit bar coaster where she asked, “Which is a better social medium — beer or Twitter?”

“Dan O.” from Ely won for this question: “Why can’t we invent a grass that only grows 2 inches tall?”

“We didn’t know until we ran the billboards that this campaign was ripe for consumer engagement,” deGrood said. “The consumer smells a forced sell a mile away and tends to be less receptive. You need to grow organically. The perfect environment to engage people is in the bar.”

The crown jewel of the Summit campaign is an 8-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide digital billboard on Block E in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis where it’s virtually impossible for fans leaving Target Center and Target Field to miss.

The billboard, which is visible in the spring and summer, shows a tall glass of Summit ale evolve into an empty glass with always-present questions such as “What is the ideal beer-to-brat ratio?” and “Why is it called ice fishing if you’re not fishing for ice?”

“It’s fun and humor. We like that,” said Matthews.


David Phelps • 612-673-7269


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