Hobgoblin’s social media spin on Wheel of Fortune

By on Tuesday, November 4, 2014

British beer brand Hobgoblin ran a live online-streaming gameshow this Hallowe’en, putting a mischievous twist on a familiar format with Wheel of Misfortune. Wheel of Misfortune is part of the wider ‘Season of Mischief’ campaign which has seen the brand ramp up its on-trade and off-trade marketing and sales activity.

Over 2,000 members of the public applied to take part, with a lucky four selected to appear in a series of live shows.

These broadcasts were streamed on the night of Hallowe’en itself, from a studio in Bristol, with a live studio audience.

Over 9,000 viewers tuned in live to watch via the Hobgoblin Facebook page and the brewery’s website, and many played along by tweeting or posting a series of code words to win beer and other prizes.

Views of the campaign video content have since exceeded 20,000.

It is believed to be the first time a UK drinks brand has commissioned and broadcast a gameshow online.

While the campaign put £5000 up for grabs, it also mocked the TV gameshows of yesteryear with a series of tongue-in-cheek runner-up prizes – from a fondue set to his-and-hers sheepskin coats. Gunging – the classic gameshow penalty – featured heavily, to the delight of the studio audience.

WOM video still gunging

Chris Keating, marketing manager at Hobgoblin, said:

“For our ninth consecutive year as the ‘Unofficial Beer of Hallowe’en’, we wanted to do something big and a little bit different. We’ve taken the collective fun factor of a TV gameshow, brought it into the social media age and added a hint of Hobgoblin mischief.”

As well as a great consumer response from platforms like TrendHunter, the campaign was also greeted enthusiastically by the drinks trade, featuring on The Grocer and The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, both key media targets for UK alcohol brands.

The move builds on an established commitment to social media marketing by the Marstons-owned Wychwood Brewery, following a series of successful online campaigns. Most recently, the company’s Wych Brew Are You? campaign generated over 15,000 Facebook interactions and 10,000 votes, many via a Buzzfeed-style personality quiz designed to appeal to the millennial market.

Hallowe’en is the UK retail industry’s third largest event, and sees sales of Hobgoblin peak annually.The festival lent itself particularly well to pubs and drinks brands this year, falling on a Friday.

The Wheel of Misfotune campaign was devised and run by social media and PR agency Clarity Comms.

The live shows are available to watch back at the Wychwood website here.

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