As Finland takes the first steps in applying for NATO membership, the small brewery has launched a new NATO-brand beer.
Dubattuna Otan (French version of NATO), the beer’s blue label features a cartoon character dressed in a metal armor suit adorned with a compass of the NATO flag.
"In the past, we have not taken much of a stand on political issues. Now, however, most Finns are behind the NATO decision. That’s why we dared to take such a step, and it really didn’t take much courage, we just decided to do it," CEO of the company Petteri Vänttinen said.
The company had been considering launching NATO beer for some time, but the final decision was made over the weekend when it became clear that Finland was officially applying for membership in the military alliance.
"We would not have done it if we did not believe it would be good for Finland and for Finland’s security." Vänttinen explained and stated that it is easy for small breweries to make quick decisions.
The brewery’s location in Savonlinna also contributed to the birth of NATO beer, as the southeastern city was bombed by Russian planes during World War II. Vänttinen said his grandmother still remembers the bombs that exploded in the center.
"We hope that after the NATO decision, such events will never have to be seen again in Savonlinna or Finland." Vänttinen said.
The company’s new beer has attracted a lot of interest from merchants and restaurants.
"The phone has been ringing all morning and people have asked “when can you deliver?”" he explained. "It’s pretty wild."
Riikka-Maria LemminkiThe director of Marketing Finland said that he had no information about other marketing campaigns under the NATO brand in Finland. But he likes the idea.
"Most people are like-minded NATO, so I think marketers will stick to it," he said, pointing out that small businesses are able to move faster than their big competitors because they don’t have to think about their decisions from all angles.
However, the French name of the beer “Otan” could in theory be problematic for Finland’s strict alcohol marketing policy, as the Finnish word means "I will have."
"There is a little gray area there. A lawyer or communications agent should probably look at where the limit is – do you want to say that NATO is French or do you encourage people to drink beer," Lemminki pointed out.
Source: The Nordic Page