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San Miguel Rich List, 2017... An interview with Liam Newton, VP of Marketing at The Carlsberg Group

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The launch event for the 2017 San Miguel Rich List took place last night (13th October 2017) at the ever-stunning Somerset House, and consisted of enjoyable, engaging and thought-provoking experiences designed to share some insight into the experience wealthy ‘Rich List 20’.

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Creativepool attended and took part in several of the innovative experiential activations presented by San Miguel, including The Miles Hilton Barber – Sensory Explorer Experience.

A truly inspirational story that invited you to step into the world of Miles Hilton-Barber, a worldwide travelled explorer, who has been blind from an early age. Taking this in his stride, Miles traversed the globe, using textures, temperatures, smells and sounds to develop and enhance his remaining senses. A truly life rich man, Miles has participated in a series of expeditions, including climbing the monstrous Mount Blanc and trekking across Antarctica. While blindfolded, you only experience a mere fraction of what Miles has learned to overcome on a daily basis while exploring, and it only cemented why he truly deserves to be on this year’s Rich List.

Before the event kicked off, Creativepool sat down with Liam Newton, VP of Marketing for the Carlsberg Group, to discuss the inception of the San Miguel Rich List, implementing consumer nominations, the increasing focus on VR activations, the launch of San Miguel Gluten Free Beer and more!

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FOR THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW, WHAT IS THE SAN MIGUEL RICH LIST AND WHAT INSIGHT SPAWNED ITS INCEPTION?

The Rich List is a celebration of people, people who have built up a bank of life experience and taken part in some incredible things. We have this phrase – ‘experience is the new riches’ – and it’s our way of recognising that what’s important to a lot of people, and millennials in particular, is less about financial wealth and more about being rich in life with experiences and culture; and that’s something we very much wanted to celebrate.

THE NOMINATIONS WERE OPENED UP TO CONSUMERS THIS YEAR – HOW MANY OF THE 20 CHOSEN CAME FROM CONSUMER NOMINATIONS?

The Rich List worked great for us last year, and this year we wanted to take it a step further. We decided to open the nominations up to actual consumers, nominating themselves. After going through an intense judging cycle, three of the 20 Rich List members came through consumer nominations, which is fantastic! We also have our Internal Rich List, where we ask those within the organisation to nominate themselves if they have done something which deems them experientially rich, which is a great way of engaging in-house with our employees.

AND HOW DID YOU FIND THE NOMINATIONS FROM CONSUMERS STACKED UP IN COMPARISON TO TRADITIONAL NOMINATIONS?

They were good! Particularly among the millennial group, people are doing some truly amazing things. We all know somebody who has hobbies, or undertakes a change in lifestyle or career; and we believe it just adds to the richness and authenticity of it all. If you looked at the 20, you would be hard pushed to pick out the three consumer nominations – as they are as equally as impressive as the rest.

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VR ACTIVATIONS HAVE BEEN AN INCREASING FOCUS FOR THE RICH LIST THIS YEAR, WITH THE BIRDLY/NYC EXPERIENCE EARLIER THIS YEAR, AND THE SWISS ALPS EXPERIENCE. CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE SUNNY STROOER EXPERIENCE?

At our event earlier in the year at Marylebone, we had many different experiences that people could try out and take part in, one example you have already mentioned was the Birdly experience. It’s not that we are trying to make this about VR, it’s more about showcasing that VR can be one asset, a different way to engage in experience and bring experience to life!

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SAN MIGUEL HAVE JUST RELEASED A GLUTEN FREE BEER! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE INSIGHT BEHIND THE PRODUCT?

It’s quite simple really. There is clearly a growing interest in gluten free food and drink, and a lot of retailers are opening more of their space to ‘free-from’ and Gluten Free products. We knew from the Spanish market that we have fantastic gluten free products as part of the San Miguel range, and it was quite literally as simple as that. We want those who are Celiac to be able to enjoy San Miguel in the same way as everyone else. We went into Tesco a couple of weeks ago – with plans to roll out more in the new year. It's going great so far!

HAS THIS YEARS RICH LIST BEEN AS SUCCESSFUL AS LAST YEARS?

Well it's bigger and better than last year! Because we started consciously started it in a small way last year, and this year we have obviously pushed it out to a larger market with the consumer input and the internal engagement side. We will of course have to wait to see how the media campaign goes, but overall yes, it has been a great success and a big part of our plan for San Miguel UK.

AND FINALLY… ARE THERE PLANS FOR A SAN MIGUEL RICH LIST, 2018?

The starting point is yes, 100%! It feels like that this is about experiences, and experiences being the new riches, the Rich List is the ultimate way of bringing this to life. So if we can make it even bigger, even better and really bring it to life next year, then we absolutely will do.

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Robert Ferguson is a Brand Account Manager for Creativepool. After speaking at length with Liam Newton and taking part in a number of the activations, Robert came away feeling truly inspired and more connected to the brand than ever before.

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