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Raunchy for a reason: Brawley’s tavern restroom ads

January 21, 2010

Advertising is all about context. Who’s the client? Who’s the audience? What’s the location? What will the tenor of the environment be? When we did a recent pub restroom ad campaign for Brawley’s Beverage, we considered all these things. The resulting creative work is, well, raunchy as hell. But is it good advertising? You decide – just make sure you consider the context.

First, let’s consider the client. Brawley’s Beverage IS Mike Brawley, a creative, independent thinker who’s great at connecting personally with his customers. He knows them. He talks to them. They, in turn, trust him. Aside from their walk-in business, Brawley’s also sells to pubs, so it’s important to have a presence in front of the pub crowd. Mike wanted whatever communication Saturday came up with to resonate with the this crowd – twenty-something singles out on the night. Now, what is the tenor of the pub environment? Think football, girls’ night out, joking around, hanging loose, ready for adventure, meeting new people, etc. We’ve all been there. If the raucous pub scene is not for us, we don’t do it.

Given the above, Saturday decided to use the one space that was available for pub advertising: the restroom. More specifically what is called “urinal advertising.” Baudy humor is nothing new to pubs, nor is it new to pub advertising. The big advertisers provide banners with scantily-clad young ladies and some brewers sell with messages out-and-out based on sex. With the pub bathroom ads, we decided to use jokes taken directly from pub patrons and share them with restroom visitors, hoping they would go back to their friends and share the joke. The bottom line for us is that these ads (and the raunchy humor that might offend some people) really make a connection with our target audience – just like Mike Brawley does personally in his store. This is what we call “compatible branding” and it’s how we think advertising is most effective.

What do you think? Please leave us your comments!

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