I love getting PR packages. The latest one that I received within this past week is for Tsingtao, the lager from China—their number one beer, and in fact is the "Number 1 branded consumer product exporter from China." That’s according to the press materials. More on those in a moment.
Tsingtao is primarily marketed in Chinese restaurants; I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it sold in a retail store, and the one and only time prior that I’ve had it was at a restaurant. That was many years ago, and I only have a vague impression of what it was like. So when the PR rep contacted me asking if I was interested in their package, I was more than happy to oblige.
The timing for this PR push—and it’s angle—is Chinese New Year. This year’s New Year was on February 18th, and the festival celebrating it lasts until the 4th of March. We are now entering the year of the pig—or Year of the Boar, as Tsingtao is styling it. Suits me; "boar" has more of a dignified and "cool" connotation than "pig", especially on the T-shirt.
Which leads me to the publicity package. In addition to a 22-ounce bottle of Tsingtao beer (which I drank and will be reviewing shortly), I also received a folder of material—copy, Tsingtao facts, the Year of the Boar press release—and a Year of the Boar T-shirt. Let’s hit the pictures:
The full package: beer, folder, T-shirt. You can see how they’re pushing the Year of the Boar in the marketing.
A closeup of the T-shirt with the beer. I do actually like the design on the shirt; I just hope the Chinese characters actually say "Year of the Boar" and not something crazy.
Among information contained in the folder comes the following tidbits:
- The Tsingtao Brewery in Qingdao, China, was established in 1903 by German and British settlers.
- "Tsingtao" is pronounced "ching-dow" (gleaned this from their website, I believe).
- Tsingtao is available in some 95% of Chinese restaurants here in the U.S.
- They brew some 216 million barrels of beer per year; it’s the 10th largest brewer in the world, with 50 breweries throughout China.
- First introduced into the U.S. in 1972.
And, I’ll be writing up my review of the beer itself in the next day or two.