Iron City Beer
Rebranding an Icon
A brand that needs no introduction, Iron City Beer has been Pittsburgh’s beer for over 150 years. Two bankruptcies and a tumultuous series of ownership changes later, a brand defined by innovative thinking was at risk of becoming a parody of itself.
With a redeeming new owner at the start of 2018, Top Hat was selected to resurrect the Iron icon.
Respecting the heritage.
The “red eye” of Iron City is about the only thing that’s stayed (relatively) constant since 1861. The mind-boggling number of can iterations has built character but hurt brand recognition. We looked to the past to treat the new seal with the care necessary to deserve a place on Pittsburgh’s beer for the next 150 years.
Building the hype.
Iron City is a brand steeped in local history and more can iterations than we can even begin to unravel. The key to building towards something new was simple, iconic shots of Iron memories to remind Pittsburgh why they love it, and to clue them in to the buildup towards something new.
The new look made its first splash alongside a familiar tagline in an ad celebrating favorite artifacts and TV spots of Iron City’s past.
It originally aired during the first Steelers preseason game.
Pittsburgh was introduced to a new wordmark on a series of billboards that simply couldn’t be missed.
In the follow-up to the initial drop, we reminded the city’s faithful that Iron City has been there for it all.
Celebrating local businesses & hard work
For the new can’s first major photoshoot, we made real, local coal miners the heroes. Because Pittsburgh was forged with Iron & Coal. Plus, that white and red just look damn cool against that shiny black coal.
Raising the bar
As part of a multi-facetted presence at PPG Paints Area — including the I.C. Light Icebox bar — we transformed the most heavily-trafficked bar around into a show-stopping, high-impact, hand-illustrated work of art.
Getting Our Hands Dirty
Iron City is shorthand for Pittsburgh – the blue collar worker of its heritage and its vibrant, creative future. We set up to capture an Iron for everyone.
Our friends at Pittsburgh Moto Magazine began organizing one hell of a motorcyle show at historic Carrie Blast Furnace. The only thing that could make it better? “Presented by Iron City Beer.”
Earning Your Iron
We also worked with Mothership Moto to put hard work in the spotlight, showcasing moto enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to earn their Iron by getting their hands dirty.
Spreading Holiday Cheer
Our efforts for Iron never cease. For the holidays, we’ve launched a series of special edition content including a special billboard to greet Seven Springs skiers, along with plenty of social.