During times of crisis, marketing teams are forced to rethink strategies. In this series, we examine how brand leaders across the beverage and spirits industry are responding to new consumer patterns and quickly shifting social strategies to connect with their target audiences around the world.
Coors Light: #CouldUseABeer
Coors Light unveiled their latest video campaign, #CouldUseABeer, which highlights the challenges the country has faced throughout history – stating that sharing a beer has made the hard times better. The humorous – yet sensitive – campaign invites people to enter to win free beer, send their friends a drink, and attend a virtual happy hour with NFL celebrities.
Coors Light casually states, “tell us who could use a 6 pack and why. We’re buying.”
Busch Beer: #BuschWeddingGift
Busch Beer launched a campaign to honor weddings impacted by COVID-19 by giving couples a chance to win a year’s worth of beer. Couples are asked to share a photo to Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter, share their plans to celebrate, and tag #BuschWeddingGift and #Sweepstakes. Friends of the couple can also join by tagging their engaged friends with #MyFriendsWedding for a chance to win special prizes.
Miller High Life: Wedding at your Doorstep
Miller High Life is offering three engaged couples the opportunity to win a “Wedding at Your Doorstep” – including an officiant, photographer, beer, and $10,000 towards honeymoon and wedding cancelation costs. Couples must submit a photo and short statement (150 words max) explaining their situation and plans to celebrate with Miller High Life. Contestants can email their application to email@example.com.
Natural Light: #NattyCommencement
Beer brand, Natural Light, is sponsoring a Facebook Live “Worldwide Commencement” for graduating college seniors. Special guests – including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, and other celebrities – will be hosting and sharing motivational speeches during the event. Natural Light is asking students to sign up at their microsite, where they will also be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to be one of fifty winners featured during the #NattyCommencement.
To help independent bars and bartenders in the U.K. remain afloat, Bacardi is launching #RaiseYourSpirits to offer “spirit” (or alcohol) delivery to local customers. Bacardi will partner with Deliveroo Editions to provide approximately 120 bars with a “virtual bar” experience that promotes their cocktail-delivery service.
Bacardi is also hiring bartenders to host training events, such as YouTube cocktail-making tutorials – paying some bartenders in advance for future events.
Bud Light: #DiveBarTour
In its ‘Open for Takeout’ campaign, Bud Light states “now more than ever, we need to serve those who serve us” – giving consumers the ability to search their zip code and see which restaurants and bars are open for takeout and/or delivery. The brand remains highly active on social media, engaging Instagram users with fun challenges and humorous content.
Bud Light also debuted its first “Bud Light Dive Bar Tour: Home Edition,” featuring country artist, Jake Owen, who performed from the comfort of his home. The show was broadcasted on his Instagram Live page, with a branded message stating “Live at the @budlight Dive Bar Tour: House Edition: Come have some beers and hang with us.” By about 10 pm EDT the show drew about 4,000 live viewers.
While the show was free, the initiative encouraged donations to the American Red Cross and featured a cross-promotion with Drizly – a cocktail delivery service – by giving consumers $5 off their purchase with a “BUDLIGHT” promo code. We’re certain these are the first of many activations that Bud Light has in store as we shift towards a new future.
The infamous dark Irish beer, Guinness, was one of the early brands to address the pandemic – scurrying back to the drawing board to release a new campaign. Guinness gracefully responded to the situation with a unifying message – ”we will march again” – implying that this year’s celebration would not be the same. The campaign closes with a pledge to commit $500,000 to help the community recover.
“To say Guinness knocked it out of the park would be an understatement,” Ace Metrix reports – noting that the viewers ranked it as “the No. 1 beer ad of all time – that’s nearly 1,900 ads going back to 2009 – and seven in ten reported increased purchase intent.”
Miller Lite: #VirtualTipJar
While visuals of an empty bar do not represent your traditional marketing content, Miller Lite tweeted an image of a deserted taproom to bring awareness to their campaign, #VirtualTipJar. The initiative aims to raise funds for bar and service staff affected by the outbreak.
To show support during virtual happy hours, Miller Lite encourages consumers to turn their home into a bar with virtual backgrounds (or “background bars”). The tweet includes a link to the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program – encouraging people to “tip the bartender.”
Tito’s Vodka: #ChefsforAmerica
Instead of launching their own hashtag, Tito’s Vodka is boosting World Central Kitchen’s campaign, #ChefsForAmerica, on the distillery’s captivating landing page. The campaign encourages social media users to support chefs turning their restaurants into community kitchens to help feed families in need.
Tito’s Vodka also shares a heartfelt letter, signed #lovetitos, to spread the message of “love and goodness.” The brand further explains its response, including a $2 million donation in the form of individual grants supporting efforts for World Central Kitchen, Children of Restaurant Employees, USBG National Charity Foundation, and Southern Smoke Foundation.
The brand states “we’ll raise our glasses from afar” and hints at virtual happy hours, concert, and party experiences – teasing brand enthusiasts with a potential online experience.
We will update this list as the future unfolds. If you spot a campaign worth mentioning below, please share it with us on social or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.