Gold-plated rush: Brewdog’s controversial Gold* Can competition is back

After failing to make good on its promise of ‘solid gold’ cans in a previous iteration of the campaign, costing its CEO almost £500,000, the Scottish beer firm has poked fun at itself and doubled down on the importance of “reading the fine print”.

Brewdog’s Gold Can competition is back, with the brewer hoping ‘third time’s a charm’ after bungling the previous version of the polarising campaign, costing CEO James Watt almost half a million quid as he was forced to pay-out misled winners.

The re-launch, with an added incentive for online purchases and customer registration, pokes fun at Brewdog for its previous failure to specify that its limited edition cans are in fact gold-plated and not solid gold.

Having promised that on this occasion, they have read the fine print, winners of the new Gold Can hunt will bag themselves a gold-plated can and £5,000 in cash.

The Scottish beer firm hopes version 3.0 of the hunt will go off without a hitch and entice craft beer lovers to join the gold-plated rush by hunting for the limited-edition cans in supermarkets and online. Participants also have the chance to win ‘Gold Pints’, plus many other prizes in BrewDog bars, via scratch cards for those spending £10 or more.

The campaign has a heavy performance marketing angle in terms of first party data collection. There is an added bonus for placing orders online, with purchases made via the BrewDog website offering double the chance to win. Each online order comes with a ‘Gold Pint’ scratch card, alongside a chance to find a special can within their order.

James Watt, co-founder and CEO of BrewDog, said in jest: “Given that our previous Gold Can competitions were such plain sailing, it was the logical next step to do it all over again. That, and the fact that we had too many of these cans taking up space in the office.

“This time around, though, I’m keen to avoid forking out another half a million quid, so I’ll say it out loud for the people at the back: these cans are gold plated, not solid gold! I hope that’s crystal clear. Disclaimer: there are no crystals available in these cans either.”