New Belgium Finds Its Folly And Asks You To Do The Same

“I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” – Joseph Campbell
New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, CO has reissued a classic motivational line–Follow Your Bliss–uttered by Joseph Campbell to self-realized persons everywhere.
The brewer’s twist is Follow Your Folly.
According to this stray PDF found on, the line wasn’t a hit when first presented by Amalgamated.

The New Belgium team reacted positively to the presentation with the exception of Amalgamated’s suggested tag line “Follow Your Folly… Ours is Beer.” Several people suggested that “folly” had too negative a connotation or undermined the science and technology it took to produce such consistently high quality beers. The debate built steam over several weeks with creatives suggesting that a word like ‘folly’ had fallen so far from the vernacular that it was ripe for reinterpretation and a fresh new definition. Following one’s folly also aptly alluded to the ideal of offbeat endeavors versus the traditional “follow the money” thinking that created the social tensions inherent to potential consumers’ lives. After a healthy volley of e-mails from
nearly every department at New Belgium, the creative team won out and “Follow Your Folly” became the campaign’s tag.

New Belgium’s mantra is particularly well-suited to a firm that actually lives by its stated philosophy. Running a brewery on wind power, giving employees a fat tire bike on their one-year anniversary and making beers they can all be proud of is following your folly. And like Campbell said, it works.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.