Comparing hops to apples - How BrewDog are taking a leaf out of Apple's playbook

Since getting into craft beer last year, it’s been easy to keep an eye on what BrewDog is doing, especially when there is a BrewDog bar very close to where I live. The beers are delicious, the branding is great (since the recent re-brand) and the experience in their bars really helps pervade the idea that beer can be elevated to something way beyond Stella/Carling/Fosters.

The moment I first went into a BrewDog bar it really reminded me of going into an Apple store. Not the way it looked or the products they sold (obviously). But the approach.

Reading this article in Marketing Week today - BrewDog’s co-founder on how it matured beyond marketing stunts (Beware Paywall!), it struck me again that there is a similarity in the approach and attitude to Apple.

We’re still tiny. We’re less than 0.1% of the UK beer market. Craft beer overall is less than 1% of the beer market. For us it’s not about the size. We’ve always said to people: ‘Judge us on our beer.’ We’re selfish and we make the beers we want to drink ourselves – if we make 100,000 bottles a month or a million, it all comes back to the quality of what is in those bottles. James Watt, Co-Founder BrewDog

Without going into the well trodden exposition of how Apple works, they are a company completely and utterly focused on the quality of their product. Uncompromising some would say. But it is this focus which has brought them tremendous success. When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the now infamous (and probably most flawless) Keynote at MacWorld 2007, he said this, when talking about the mobile phone market:

Mobile phones, just about a billion last year, worldwide. So what does this tell you? What this tells you is, that 1 percent market share equals 10 million units. This is a giant market. If you just One percent market share, you’re gonna sell 10 million phones. And this is exactly what we’re gonna try to do in 2008, our first full year in the market, is grab 1 percent market share and go from there. So we’re gonna enter a very competitive market, lotta players, we think we’re gonna have the best product in the world, and we’re gonna go for it and see if we can get 1 percent market share, 10 million units in 2008, and go from there.

It’s like they’re saying the same thing. BrewDog are a much younger company than Apple, so of course they are a little more tenacious with the choice of words, (it helps get traction too!) but it’s the same thing.

You know Steve Jobs was saying much worse off camera about the competition. But it’s a fantastic strategy. Pick a massive well established market, make a product that is fundamentally better than the competition, and aim for a sliver of that market, knowing damn well that that sliver will deliver you the success you need to progress to the next level.

Time to invest in BrewDog I think.

That single take fight scene in Daredevil

Last month I posted a great little video essay, from Chris Stuckmann, called The problem with action movies today, one of the standout points, which is a frequent annoyance of mine, is the editing style of fight scenes.

(Skip to 10:10)

In Netflix’s brand new original series, Daredevil, there is a great scene of him in Ep#2 “Cut Man” in pre-costumed-origin-story-mode fighting a load of hoods in order to save a child. We see the entire scene in a locked off shot for nearly 4 minutes. That is 240 seconds. When compared to some of the shakeycam, and even more shakily edited action films, where one cut could last less than one second, this is standout.

I wish the fight scenes in all the Nolan Batman films were shot and edited like this. There are some fleeting moments in the series where this does happen, but mostly Nolan veers into shakeycam territory.

The last time I remember seeing anything like what ‘Daredevil’ did was in ‘Oldboy’. It is clearly an homage to that scene, and a great one at that. Similar geography, dark and dirty grade, slow painful fighting where you feel every punch and that voyeuristic watchful camera, almost casually watching this violent story unfold in front of itself.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2

Last night the new Star Wars teaser landed on YouTube, and I was blown away, so good. The feel is so right, and the look of everything is perfect. There seems to be a bit of a Marmite reaction to the Han Solo & Chewie end shot, but I loved it. It immediately brought light to the serious and imposing tone, which is exactly what they did in Episodes IV-V-VI. Can't wait.

I think my reaction wasn’t far off McConaughey’s…



That human head/body transplant story

"Someone needs to go further where no one has been before. The first spaceman was afraid, I’m sure"

Vice posted an interesting Q&A with Valery Spiridonov, who is putting himself forward to be the first human to have his head transplanted. Strange how it is referred to as a 'head transplant' when it is in fact his body being 'replaced'. A strange quirk. But obviously it's a stickier headline.

It's a scary story which has got a lot of traction and the mental and physical ramifications, let alone the 'how?', are genuinely frightening. There is a morbid curiosity with these kind of stories, alongside a sadness that to one man, this gamble is seemingly his only option at extending his life, or even miraculously offering him an improved quality of life. 

To now completely boil this down to a cultural reference (one of my super powers) I can't help but feel the operation is comparable to the famous Indiana Jones 'swapping scene' in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Let's hope for Valery's sake the attempt is more successful than Indy's. 

Modern day VHS

Love these pixel perfect retro VHS front covers of some very cool films and TV shows. Great little details too: Dexter and The Walking Dead's VHS have just two episodes on them.

In keeping with the retro trend, is this 1995 trailer for 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'. A remarkable amount of work to do this, and very reminiscent of T2 and The Fugitive (in terms of typography/animation of type) and of course the style of trailer construction in the mid Nineties. 

Via Kottke & Boing Boing respectively