Tennent’s Lager has unveiled a new online series of comedy sketches, created through an innovative collaboration between the brewer and a collective of writers, directors and animators.
Released both on YouTube and across the brand’s social media channels, Wellpark is a collection of snappy, sharable animated sketches (each between 30 and 60 seconds long) set in the fictional Scottish town of Wellpark. As well as being available online, selected Wellpark sketches will also be shown in cinema and on television.
With Wellpark, Tennent’s has moved away from a traditional campaign approach in favour of a much braver and bolder style, which they hope will connect well with their core audience of digitally-savvy, early-to-mid twenties drinkers. Over the summer, more than 30 sketches will be produced by the collective, many of which are being specially written to react quickly to events in the real world as they unfold. This unconventional approach means that some sketches will be created from start-to-finish in less than 48-hours.
“We wanted to develop something ambitious,” said Jordan McKenna of Tennent’s Lager. “Something just as much about entertaining the audience as it is about the Tennent’s brand. The key thing for us was relevance. To connect with a digitally savvy audience in their early twenties, you’ve got to behave a bit differently, and we know that more traditional promotional activity doesn’t always work. We chose to approach this campaign ‘content first’ , identifying a whole range of entertaining insights from everyday Scottish life, and building on those to create fresh, interesting, sharable and – crucially – entertaining content. It’s made for a much more nimble and interesting campaign and early signs have been really positive.
“Nothing was off the table idea-wise, as long as it was something that tapped into the humour of everyday life. Since the beginning of the year we’ve held development sessions at the brewery every few days. It’s a very different route for a brand to take but it’s helped us to produce something that we think is pretty unique and that we’re really proud of.
“It’s unlike anything that the category has produced before now and, because of that, it’s really got people talking. We’d given a sneak preview to a small group of people over the past few days and their feedback was brilliant. Now Wellpark’s out there properly, we’re looking forward to seeing what the broader reaction will be.”
The core group involved in creating Wellpark include Bright Signals, a group of digital creatives based in Finnieston, Glasgow, and Something Something, a collection of animators, illustrators, writers, directors and musicians based in Leith, Edinburgh. Together with Tennent’s, they write, direct, illustrate, animate, voice and produce each episode of Wellpark.
“It was a gift of a brief to get from Tennent’s – they said “do something different and make it funny”, said David Craik of Bright Signals. “It’s rare to get a brand that’s willing to be that open and collaborative.
“Because we’ve made Wellpark for online first-and-foremost, we’ve not been bound by the same rules, meaning much more flexibility. Some of the sketches are written now and some we’re still in the midst of creating. It’s ambitious and a bit scary but this way we’ll keep Wellpark fresh and a little unpredictable– we don’t know exactly what’s coming next yet (and neither will the viewer) but that’s all part of the fun.”
“When we began to write Wellpark, every character and script started from the same point – an observation,” said Something Something’s Ian Greenhill. “Because of that, what we’ve ended up with is something that feels much more current and genuinely watchable than if we’d set out to create a series of old-school adverts. The humour in Wellpark is all grounded in recognisable, everyday moments in Scottish life, which is why it works – and why it fits so well with Tennent’s. There’s a huge amount we can draw from over the next few weeks, from T in the Park, to the Euro 16 qualifiers, so we’re looking forward to having more fun with Wellpark.”
Wellpark sketches will be released every few days between now and the end of July on Tennent’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/tennentsteam. Select Wellpark sketches will be seen on TV and in cinemas throughout Scotland.