Pilsner Urquell Leverages DIY Ethos to Boost Loyalty
Do-it-yourselfers can often be difficult consumers for brands to reach. Rather than fight their inherent non-commercial attitude, Pilsner Urquell decided to embrace the ethos. The brewer launched a competition to see which amateur home brewer could make the best Czech-style pilsner.
The Pilsner Urquell Master Home Brewer Competition began by inviting home brewers in Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C., to enter via email, with just 50 entries allowed per market. Those who made the cut were given one day in each market to show up with their concoctions. Participants received no tips or recipes from the brewer—which Pilsner Urquell figured would pique the interest of the DIYers.
The contestants were so serious about the competition that several arrived at the events empty-handed, convinced their pilsners weren’t good enough. Expert judges and the brand’s brewmaster evaluated the entries, and the winners in each market won trips for two to Plzen in the Czech Republic, home of the world’s first pilsner, for a brewery tour and the International Master Bartender Competition in Prague.
“We wanted to plant a seed and break through the clutter to speak with this group of consumers and join the conversation about craft,” said Herb Heneman, brand director at Pilsner Urquell. “And the proof is in all the buzz online and in the home brew blogs. We’re breaking through.”