Marston’s: The Rebrand

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you: those beers below are Marston’s, the result of an ambitious rebranding project costing more than…wait for it…£1m. To put it into perspective that’s like a whole studio flat in London, or one million boxes of Toffifee from the pound shop. Other than the labels themselves there have also been 2 other significant changes; the renaming of Burton Bitter to Saddle Tank and Oyster Stout to Pearl Jet.

I can see what they’ve tried to do here and, while I absolutely support the promotion of real ale to a younger audience, I’m not sure it’s quite worked. There’s nothing new and exciting about this packaging and I can’t help but feel they’re appealing to new drinkers while ostracising the old ones, particularly by changing the names of 2 well established beers.

I spoke to a packaging designer about the rebrand and they made some interesting points from a design perspective:

‘I like them, but they feel a bit behind the curve now. I think the boat has sailed on all that distressed looking type stuff that BrewDog were doing 7 years ago. The problem is they are very aligned to what is considered cool right now (or 2 years ago in this case) and as a result they’ll date really fast. Also, it feels like a bit of a half arsed attempt at jumping on the bandwagon. I do like the Burton Union System though!’

I’ll be interested to see how this one plays out.

1 thought on “Marston’s: The Rebrand”

  1. A sad day for Marston's Oyster Stout. Great beer and a great label. I used to joke that the 'DARK•RICH•SMOOTH' banner was exactly the opposite of me. Pearl Jet? Not for me thanks.

    This is classic bandwagon jumping. I'm surprised it doesn't say 'crafted' somewhere prominent on the labels. In an age of throwaway fads heritage should be celebrated, not cheapened.


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