Australia’s Tooheys New cleverly extends ‘beer economy’ theme to community work

The ongoing “Beer Economy” campaign from Tooheys New beer is based around the idea that beer is Australia’s second, unofficial currency: If someone does you a favor, you thank them with a few beers, and the official currency here is Toohey’s New (or so it goes). “Tooheys New Crew,” the CSR component, connects a team of tradesmen and volunteers to communities, where they work on “building projects that will make a difference.” Every contribution is measured in its beer equivalent, and the goal is to reach a million beers’ worth of favors. The brand’s YouTube channel showcases their efforts, such as a recent project for a local Rugby League Club.

The idea of doing good in the community fits well within the campaign but is also a refreshing example of a CSR endeavor whose tangible results consumers can see for themselves. The timing is right, given that Australians currently have a difficult relationship with big business. Retail chains have not passed along the falling cost of imports brought about by the strong Australian dollar; mining companies are compulsorily acquiring farmers’ land to establish damaging coal seam gas wells; and a recent study shows resolute condemnation of big business’s response to this year’s Queensland floods. Plus, the widespread expectation among today’s consumers is that “Companies need to do more good, not just less bad,” as a recent JWT study found (for more on the study, see our new “Social Good” report).

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