When The Avengers decided to assemble one last time to take on the villainous Thanos and his marauding armies of darkness, they did so with one Georgia libation at the forefront of their heroic efforts.
Creature Comforts, an Athens-based brewery, already was well-known across Georgia as the producer of some of the most popular new craft beers on the market. In 2017, Jackson Spalding assisted the growing brand with media relations and public relations work around the expansion of its facilities into a new, revitalized space that could help them expand their business and meet rising demand.
Like many Marvel movies, “Avengers: Endgame” was filmed in Atlanta (some scenes adjacent to Jackson Spalding’s Midtown office), and you can count its cast and crew among Creature Comforts’ fans. Knowing that beer had a central role for Thor’s character in the film, this appreciation of Creature Comforts led to a series of meetings that opened the door for Georgia’s hottest craft brewery to garner a starring role in the epic ending of the Avengers saga.
In the opening scenes, Thor is seen drinking an Athena before prominently switching to a Tropicalia (or two … or three) later in the film. Additionally, just as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes finalize their plan to save the world, we see our favorite Norse god wearing a Tropicalia t-shirt.
That type of on-screen exposure in what is shaping up to be the most successful movie of all time had a ripple effect on the Creature Comforts brand.
“In essence, the movie kicked off a massive, international awareness campaign for us,” said Chris Herron, the CEO of Creature Comforts. “We were given a great opportunity to introduce our beer and our story to a much larger audience. Now we have to leverage this giant awareness campaign into something that can create some adopters and adorers who want to take a journey with us.”
That work is underway. The brewery’s number of followers on Instagram grew by nearly seven percent within just a few hours after audiences began seeing the beer on the big screen, and Herron said interest from various markets – both domestic and international – has picked up considerably.
It was imperative the brewery take advantage of this newfound fame, and as fast as Thanos could snap his fingers, Creature Comforts sprang into action after the movie’s premiere. The brewery’s small team huddled within minutes after their own personal viewing of the film to brainstorm ways to take this opportunity and make it count.
Knowing that Tropicalia would garner the most initial interest following the movie’s release, Herron said his team pushed information about the beer to its homepage and launched a pop-up that would promote sales of the Tropicalia t-shirt.
“We looked at it as a great chance to tell our story, and the story of craft beer in Georgia in general, and we obviously want to find ways for us to leverage this opportunity,” Herron said. “But we want to leverage this opportunity to create more opportunities in the future. What would it look like if Creature Comforts became not the beer of Thor, but one of the regular beers you see in movies in general?”
What can we learn from this starring role?
- Move quickly, but strategically – Creature Comforts acted swiftly, but after thinking through what would be the most beneficial for their brand. While it’s important to act, it’s equally as important to know how to act.
- Use one opportunity to build to another – Creature Comforts recognized that, despite the acclaim around their inclusion in the film, it was important to think big picture. Finding a way to use this moment to create momentum enables the company to drive people from the top of the marketing funnel to the bottom, cultivating those “adorers and adopters” that Herron is seeking.
- Don’t forget to share – Creature Comforts lacks the official partnership and licensing rights other, larger brands can secure, which is why being very smart about utilizing third-party endorsements and social media to attract new followers and maximize the opportunity has been critical.
You likely won’t find your brand making a cameo in one of the highest grossing movies of all time, but we can all keep these principles in mind.