You've probably seen this local Super Bowl spot making the rounds--another Old Milwaukee ad starring Will Ferrell himself--a commercial that, at first, only certain Nebraskans were treated to, thanks to a grassroots strategy from OM owners Pabst. But thanks to one YouTuber with a camera, the ad went viral despite the minimum media buy.
Will Ferrell has been involved with the Pabst-owned brand since November, when his spots started appearing in select markets. Daren Metropoulos, Co-Owner of Pabst Brewing Company, told Ad Age's EJ Schultz in December that Ferrell "was a big fan of the brand. My brother Evan and I have many relationships with celebrities and artists and that is how we put these deals together, such as our partnership with Snoop Dogg and the development of our successful Flavored Malt Beverage Blast. Will Ferrell was interested in developing something unique and we allowed him the freedom to pursue his creative vision and produce these spots with a local vibe."
In 2010, the company signed a deal with Ferrell's company, web site "Funny or Die" for sketches that had Pabst product in them. The commercials have been running since November, only in small markets and initially only in the towns of Davenport, Iowa and Terre Haute, Indiana, "chosen because they are markets where 'Old Milwaukee' is widely consumed and Will wanted to do something for the loyal fans of the brand," Metropolous said. A fan himself, Ferrell received no compensation for his appearances.
"With these Old Milwaukee ads we wanted to be methodical about our approach to this campaign and keep a more grassroots, organic feel to the spots," he added. "In the beginning, we wanted to focus our efforts on tactical guerrilla marketing."