25 Jul 2014

On Rich and Successful People Wanting Free Money


You must've read already about Stone's crowdfunding campaign to raise cash to help them (or not?) with their expansion plans in the East Coast of the US and in Europe, and their response to the negative feedback they received, which reminded me of a high-profile professional athlete being forced by his PR to apologise for something stupid he said.

I won't comment too much on the almost arrogant, rich cunt, holier-than-thou style of the press releases and the video (and the “we are going to save German beer culture” bollocks I've seen everywhere on the internet) because I understand that it's part of Stone's marketing discourse. And because it is not what really bothers me about this

Reading the press release again (and suffering the video) I don't think Stone are being honest here.

In the best case scenario, they are (ab)using the crowd funding platform for marketing (and attention whoring) purposes. They aren't the first, and certainly not the last to do that. But it is still unethical, at least in the way it's being done.

Look at this other brewery, Freetail, who are also promoting themselves in IndieGogo. Not only they are doing it with a very clever satire, but likely is that they will not keep the money, as their campaign is set as “fixed funding”--the donations get refunded if the target is not met—while Stone's is “flexible funding”–they get to keep the money one way or another.

But that aside. Stone say that the projects will be carried out with or without the million dollars, which leads to me to believe that they already have secured the funding or are very much on the way to secure it. So why do they need that money for? To make beer? Really? I thought they were making beer already.

Neither of those breweries exist yet (they haven't even decided on a location for one of them!). It could take years until they start producing anything. And besides, what will those beers be like? Other than a bunch of marketing buzzwords, that is.

I'm not convinced. As far as I'm concerned, that million USD (4% or not, is still a fuckton of money for most mortals, and probably enough to get a fairly well equipped microbrewery going in quite a few countries) could be the cash they need to take one of those breweries to a new level, or to buy Greg a pad in Berlin, I don't know, and it doesn't matter. I feel there is something important Stone is not telling us. I feel that all Stone wants is free money from their fans, which they'll pay back, at some yet to be determined point in the future, with expensive beers that may or may not be good, because nobody knows anything about them yet, which the lenders will be expected to pick up themselves so they can get discounted merchandise or whatever. Doesn't sound like a very good deal to me.

But this is not of my concern, really. I am under no obligation to take part in this campaign anymore than I will be to buy their German made beers.

That being said, I'm sure that at least some of you are seriously considering throwing a coin in Stone's cap before they have started playing. Before you press “Donate”, answer this question: Aren't there any small breweries near where you live (or not) that are already making great beer and perhaps need your 50USD a lot more than Koch and co.?

Na Zdraví!

4 comments:

  1. Spot on. Just watched that video and that fella is no different to some sharp suited businessman just that he has that shite hipster beard and hair.

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  2. I said on my blog that Stone's tact is a bit like buying a Ferrari (or two) and then holding a bake sale to buy the gas.

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    1. I've read it. Loved the analogy. Only that in Stone's case things are even worse. You don't even know when you'll be eating those muffins

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