My favorite comedian of all time, Alan Partridge, is back with a new series called Mid-Morning Matters. This is obviously fantastic news for me as I thought the days of Coogan playing my favorite character were numbered.
It’s a small shame that the episodes are only 12-13 mins each, but I’m happy enough that I’m getting anything so I’m not going to moan. What is interesting though is that this is an “Internet Only” show that is brought to us by Fosters. Yep – Fosters, the famous Aussie Lager which us Brits apparently consume at a rate of 30 pints every second!
I see this as a master-stroke from Fosters, who have launched a new website called “Fosters Funny” here in the UK. They have managed to persuade a much-loved character to make a come back as well as try something new and innovative. Not only this, they have also given us a glimpse of how we will all be consuming media in the not-to-distant future.
The video is hosted on YouTube and the website is a very simple blog-style set-up, but it works perfectly for capturing the users attention as well as their details to ensure Fosters know exactly how successful this initiative has been. The usual social sharing buttons are present, as well as a a community style “send us something funny” request which helps them feed the site.
A few select “Tweets” from hand picked users are displayed and finally a few social style games are available. Basically it is a very simple interactive social website that has just enough content while still being easy for Fosters to maintain.
I know from experience that Alan Partridge has a massive following and promotes enough of a “cult” following to be searched for actively online. My Alan Partridge soundboard attracts a good number of hits a month from people looking online for “Alan Partridge Quotes“.
As we can see from the latest Google trends figures, the search term “Alan Partridge” is enjoying the highest traffic since his hey-day with “Knowing Me, Knowing You” and “I’m Alan Partridge” back in 2004/05. The difference between now and then though was in 2004/05 it was a TV series influencing peoples online search, rather than solely an Internet “Buzz”.
Fosters have been advertising Alan’s comeback on Facebook, Yahoo and through Google Ads. So combined with the social sharing aspect the website encourages I’m sure the message has been received by a huge audience of Alan fans.
There is no doubt that Fosters has increased its brand awareness though this campaign. At time of blogging over 228,000 views, 2,270 “Likes” and 779 comments have been recorded on YouTube in the 4 days it has been online. The video hosts a pre & post roll sequence of an animated Fosters logo as well as maintains the Fosters logo in the top left corner throughout the episode. As an episode lasts 12-13mins, this is a long time for almost 1/4million people to be engaged with the brand.
Again using Google Trends we can see the search term “Fosters” is also enjoying its highest peak this year, an indication the “Fosters” brand is at the forefront of peoples minds when online.
If brand awareness was the objective with this campaign, Fosters can surely sit back and think it’s a job well done – and that’s after episode 1 of Mid Morning Matters.
If however, it was to sell more pints… Only time will tell. I’m a Fosters drinker already, although I’m sure like the majority of lager drinkers I have little loyalty towards the brand. If Fosters isn’t available I certainly wouldn’t leave the pub… I’d just ask for an alternative. I can’t see that changing because Fosters have resurrected my favorite comedy character.
With that said, I still believe Fosters have come up with a winner in Fosters Funny. As Fosters is my primary choice already I’m probably not their target audience with this campaign. I may be guessing, but I think they will be trying to convert lager drinkers of competing brands or maybe lager drinkers that haven’t really made their mind up even when appoaching the bar. With these consumers in mind, I’m sure consciously or subconsciously they will connect the large red F on the beer tap with what they have seen on the internet while watching Alan. I’m also sure their next four words will be “Pint of Fosters please!”.