Post Date: 10/16/2010
Publication: AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Call it guerrilla advertising, Austin style.
Last weekend at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Shiner Beer staged a little David-vs.-Goliath act. Make that acts.
Kept out of the mammoth festival, the beer brand hosted several local bands that performed on a stage attached to a custom billboard on Barton Springs Road, just east of the music festival at Zilker Park.
It was a cheeky move by Shiner, which wasn't among the larger brewers that sponsor ACL or pay for the right to sell their beer at the event.
"ACL has kind of gotten to the point where it's not so much about Austin anymore, in terms of the acts that are there," said Mark McGarrah , who co-founded McGarrah Jessee, the ad agency for Shiner, in 1996. "So if Shiner is the local beer, we wanted to bring local music nearby."
It's the third year that McGarrah Jessee has put on a gonzo Shiner promotion during the festival. One year, they handed out Shiner-embossed koozies to ACL attendees, making sure the brand could make an appearance at the event even if the beer itself could not.
McGarrah and others say it's an example of the lengths they'll go to for a client — which can run from plain advertisements to help with building design and beyond.