Connected packaging scores brewer Top 5 in GABS

Featured in PKN, February 2024. Written by Lindy Hughson

Australian craft beer pioneer Bridge Road Brewers, has harnessed the power of connected experiences, partnering with consumer engagement platform Cellr to achieve a Top 5 ranking in the coveted GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer Poll, which this year featured 436 of Australia’s craft breweries with 1877 different beers, attracting tens of thousands of votes.

The campaign, conceptualised by Bridge Road Brewers, was amplified with Cellr’s platform and support, introducing the concept of “connected experiences” to the Australian craft beer sector.

By integrating dynamic QR codes on its can, cases, bar menus, t-shirts, posters and more, Bridge Road Brewers transformed its physical, owned assets into a digital media channel for immersive digital experiences, directly engaging consumers and fostering a deeper connection with the brand.

Cellr’s platform played a pivotal role in the campaign’s success by providing real-time consumer interaction.

Head of Growth at Cellr, Daniel Hill, explained to PKN how it worked: “Using Cellr’s platform, we delivered an engaging and fun experience for Bridge Road’s customers and made it easy for them to cast their vote, supporting their favourite brewery.

“We were then able to leverage real-time data, enhancing the user journey, encouraging deeper engagement with the campaign, and effectively increasing click-through rates to the GABS voting page.” 

Hill says Cellr enhanced the user journey, encouraged deeper engagement with the campaign, and effectively increased click-through rates to the GABS voting page. This iterative process of monitoring, analysing, and refining early in the campaign was crucial for maximising campaign effectiveness.

“Beechworth Pale Ale’s top five position in the GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beers has been the best gift we could have received for the 18th year of brewing our flagship beer. We wanted to deliver something special for this campaign; partnering with Cellr allowed us to engage customers in a fun and creative way as they consume the product both in-venue and at home,”  said Nathan Fenton, marketing manager at Bridge Road Brewers.

“The professionalism of the Cellr team and platform allowed us to deliver an experience that captured the imagination of our consumers, helping deliver the equal-best result we’ve ever had in the history of the Hottest 100 Count.”

This achievement celebrates the second time Bridge Road Brewers have secured a top-five result in the countdown and the 16th time it’s featured in the top 100, a testament to its commitment to innovation and excellence.

The brewery’s strategic use of technology sets a new standard in the craft beer industry, demonstrating the potential of connected product technology and cloud platforms like Cellr in enhancing brand engagement and driving successful outcomes.

According to Hill, Bridge Road Brewers has indicated an interest in utilising Cellr’s cloud platform in the future, focusing on improving how they service their customers across their Beechworth and Brunswick venues and in homes across the country.

In its immediate plans, Bridge Road is highlighting the 2024 High Country Hops event. This annual celebration showcases the freshest beers in Bridge Road Brewers home of Beechworth, Victoria. Featuring offerings from high country brewery trail brewers and special guests, High Country Hops focuses on beers crafted with freshly harvested hops from the nearby Rostrevor hop gardens, Australia’s largest hop farm.

Hill said, “Cellr’s innovative approach to consumer experiences aligns with Bridge Road’s enduring commitment to independence, authenticity, and quality, as they continue to ensure they offer the best customer experience and high standards they are celebrated for.”

Discussions are underway with Bridge Road Brewing to explore innovative uses of the platform, including digitising in-venue tasting paddles, taps, and events.
Discussions are underway with Bridge Road Brewing to explore innovative uses of the platform, including digitising in-venue tasting paddles, taps, and events.

Cellr’s technology has come a long way since it first launched, as Hill explains:  “Since its inception, Cellr’s technology has undergone substantial evolution. Broadening its scope and capabilities beyond its initial focus on the wine industry, Cellr’s connected product cloud has grown its consumer engagement, brand protection and compliance features, delivering solutions to global clients across a diverse range of consumer-packaged goods (CPG) sectors.”

This expansion encompasses industries such as beer, wine, spirits, fashion, sports, and events, among others. Hill says this growth reflects Cellr’s commitment to innovation and its ability to adapt and cater to the dynamic needs of various markets, demonstrating its versatility and scalability in enhancing consumer engagement and brand integrity across multiple domains.

Hill says Cellr is seeing a noticeable increase in the adoption of connected consumer experiences, which is being driven by consumer demands.

“Today’s modern, ‘connected’ consumers demand trust, transparency, and immersive experiences that elevate the quality of a brand’s product or service. They seek personalised interactions, sustainability initiatives that align with their values, and a guarantee of quality and veracity,” Hill said.

For brands looking to meet these demands, the rewards of data analytics for deeper consumer insights cannot be overstated, according to Hill.

The adoption of this technology allows brands to innovate in meeting these demands, offering a significant advantage through the real-time data generated from digital interactions, which, in turn, informs strategic decision-making and enhances consumer engagement.

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