Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw beer bottles.

Work Labs is mad and they're taking it to the interwebs. According to their site they are convinced their campaign concept for craft brew Work Beer was stolen by another agency for a different beer.

If you look at the first set of ads (and the rest on their site) it does seem to be a prime Badland candidate. Same headline. Same work-inspired art direction.

Further reading explains the kerfuffle. It seems Work Labs showed their Work Beer ads to New Belgium Brewery, who then may or may not have gotten their current agency of record to create work in the same playground.

Why were they showing the ads to breweries to begin with? Because the Work Beer brewery, Main Street Beer, went out of business. So, believing in the long legs of their campaign idea, and their product, Work Labs set out to find a new brewery to market their brand.

Choose your own side. We'd rather crack open a cold one and muse on other things. Most notably the trend in ad agencies creating their own beers.

This may very well have started with Neil French's, XO a fictitious beer designed to sell The Straits Times. Which then launched as a real beer, due to demand. Which also makes Neil French the first Meta-Advertiser. Which must have been crazy back then.
But now there's a whole slew of 'em.

Edinburgh-based The Leith Agency has its own beer.

Uk based content agency Gravity Road has its own beer.

Arnold has several beers and a vending machine.

Pocket Hercules has its own beer.

Hell, even a copywriter friend of mine brews his own beer and has been for a few years now.

Now let's look at the campaign idea of both Work Beer and Shift beer. Both use the "You worked hard, you deserve a beer," strategy. How original is it?

You deserve it after removing snow.

You deserve it after mucking about with snow. Again.

You deserve it after shutting up douche bags in their Heineken Fridge.

You deserve it after doing heroic things.

Conclusion: Not very. But with the exception of snow removal as metaphor for hard work, none of these ads (including Work Beer) are using the same executions.

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kidsleepy CD copywriter with 18 years experience who has worked in many cities including New York, Atlanta, Montreal and currently Los Angeles. I snark because I care.