Booze Brands React to Dry January

Abstaining from alcohol for the first month of the year has become a global phenomenon, an unofficial cultural event. One in five Americans goes dry for the month, and with numbers like that, it’s also become the newest major marketing opportunity for booze companies. As the “sober curious” trend picks up steam—66% of millennials are making efforts to reduce their alcohol consumption—Dry January is a gateway for brands to convince you to keep drinking their low- and non-alcoholic booze all year round.

We’re only a couple weeks in but already Heineken has won the Dry January sweepstakes with its boozeless advent calendar. The brand, which launched its 0.0 beer a year ago and backed it with a $50 million marketing budget in 2019, began giving away its January Dry Pack in late December for free from a custom website and quickly ran out. Meanwhile, it’s still working hard to remind us all that its 0.0 brew is the best way to make it through the month.

MillerCoors used the prospect of Dry January to give those dry-curious another option, getting Succession‘s Nicholas Braun to go full Gregg the Egg with some very “We Hear For You” vibes.

In August 2019, Diageo acquired non-alcoholic spirits company Seedlip and quite purposely chose Dry January as the jump-off point to launch its first-ever brand campaign, which kicked off this week. “Dry January is a big thing for Seedlip,” says Diageo North America CMO Ed Pilkington, whose company has also invested in Ritual non-alcoholic spirits and has been ramping up marketing in recent years behind overall moderation with brands like Ketel One and Crown Royal. He says the brand is using the month to elbow in on the growing popularity of mocktail menus. “Our first big U.S. campaign is saying, ‘Hey it’s Dry January and you can drink Seedlip any time and anywhere’,” says Pilkington.

AB InBev has declared its goal to make 20% of its beer sales from low to non-alcoholic beer by 2025. It owns grocery store staple O’Douls, but has in recent years also launched Budweiser Prohibition brew in Canada and Budweiser 0.0 in other markets. “We view [Dry January] as an opportunity,” says Adam Warrington, AB InBev’s VP of corporate social responsibility. “What you can do with your marketing is drive up the awareness of the category, drive consideration, and this is a perfect time to be part of those conversations.”

Non-alcoholic beer startup Athletic Brewing has been going gangbusters since it opened its taps in 2018, and so far this month e-commerce sales (which typically make up between 30% and 50% of its overall business) are up 40% from December. The company also ramps up its in-store promotions and displays to remind dry folks that they do have other options. For founder Bill Shufelt, Dry January isn’t just about a one month sales spike. “It’s much easier to introduce ourselves to customers in January,” he says, “and we find a lot of those customers stick with us throughout the rest of the year.”

Why it’s hot: It’s a given that alcohol brands react to this strong cultural trend (especially among millennials) — some are winning this month of opportunity better than others.

Source: FastCo

Burger King jumps on Bronx-steps Joker meme

Thanks to the success of the Joker movie, the now famous Bronx steps have become an Instagram-able tourist destination, to the chagrin of many locals just trying to get to work.

Riding on the coat tales of this meme-fueled furor, Burger King took the opportunity to create some local goodwill (while taking a jab at its main clown-mascotted rival) by offering Bronx residents a free Whopper, delivered by UberEats, as a consolation for having to deal with the rapid influx of Joker-stair tourists AKA clowns (burn).

Why it’s hot:

Brands are desperate to be a part of pop culture, and this campaign finds a low-risk, nonpolitical way to catch the viral wave, with little investment.

Rides on the pop-culture success of Joker, but comes at it from a snarky, unpredictable angle.

Source: Fast Company

Brands React to $120,000 Banana

Last Friday, Aviation Gin and its celebrity owner Ryan Reynolds got the ad world excited after hiring the actor from the much-maligned Peloton ad to star in a fun sequel spot. The booze brand and Reynolds were deservedly celebrated across social and major media for both the quality of the spot and the speed and agility with which it was executed, soon enough to ride the wave of Peloton-bashing and land an incredibly good comeback. “If you’re going to do something like this,” Reynolds told The New York Times, “you have to jump on the zeitgeist-y moment as it happens.”

Around this same time, at Art Basel in Miami artist Maurizio Cattelan was attracting headlines when his piece called “Comedian”—a banana duct-taped to the wall—sold for $120,000. The subsequent outrage and amusement of course quickly caught the eye of the world’s social-media marketers, sparking a rush of brands scrambling to make their own witty version.

Pepsi

Popeyes

https://twitter.com/PopeyesChicken/status/1203140095005605888

French supermarket, Caffefour

Royal Canadian Mint

https://twitter.com/CanadianMint/status/1204144845872336897

Even Aviation…

Between Peloton and “Comedian,” last week presented two moments seemingly perfect for the kind of participation that brands crave on social media, and yet each also illustrates the level of difficulty in actually pulling off something that is a) actually any good, and b) able to grab people’s attention.

Why it’s hot:

It’s interesting to see which brands jump on this meme-culture train and makes me wonder if it’s overdone.

Source: FastCo

Wearable memes

At this year’s Paris Fashion Week, Viktor & Rolf put out a couture collection featuring voluminous tulle ballgowns plastered with memes.

And there’s a dress for every mood.

When a simple “no” isn’t enough:

FASHION-FRANCE-VIKTOR & ROLF

When you need a Frida Kahlo quote to inspire you:

FASHION-FRANCE-VIKTOR & ROLF

When it’s Day 33 of the government shutdown and negotiations have stalled:

FASHION-FRANCE-VIKTOR & ROLF

When you show up late to a party you wish you canceled earlier:

Viktor & Rolf : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019

When someone just isn’t getting the hint:

Viktor & Rolf : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019

When your friend says “It’s just a small get together, dress casual”:

Viktor & Rolf : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019

When it’s been a week and he still hasn’t texted back:

Viktor & Rolf : Runway - Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Spring Summer 2019

Why it’s hot: Using social media to resonate with people on social media.

Source

Meme Marketing Done Right

Alex, now better known as #AlexFromTarget, was just a normal guy who worked at Target until this Sunday when he became the Internet’s newest favorite meme. Twitter user @auscalem(now private) shared a photo of the young male cashier at Target with the caption “YOOOOOOOOOO” and suddenly, Twitter users everywhere starting sharing the photo and talking about “Alex from Target,” many of them using the photo to create memes.

Perhaps the best thing about Alex’s overnight fame is how Target responded to the situation. Target’s Twitter account wrote, “We heart Alex, too! #alexfromtarget” alongside an image of Alex’s nametag. Simple, yet effective — a tweet from Target’s account the previous day announcing a sale received 103 retweets and 134 favorites, but their supportive #AlexFromTarget tweet hit 28,000 retweets and 43,000 favorites. And that’s the power of memes.

So let’s talk about memes. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a meme is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”  Since memes are already viral by definition, it can be tempting to use them to your advantage in your marketing strategy. This is often referred to as “memejacking” and if it’s done right, it can really push your social marketing over the edge. But memes can be tricky, and if you mess up, it can be pretty embarrassing.

Here are three important steps to memejack the correct way:

  1. Understand the meme first.If you’re unsure of the correct way to use a meme, don’t just try it anyway. Go to KnowYourMeme.com, search for the particular meme you’re interested in, and read up on it before you even get started. If you use a meme incorrectly, it can seriously backfire.
  2. Don’t waste time.Some memes stay popular for years, and others fall flat after a few months or even days. If you’re going to memejack, do it as soon as possible. Otherwise, you could end up using it too late.
  3. Make sure it’s appropriate.If your business has a very serious reputation, and subsequently, a very serious audience, using memes could actually offend or isolate people — the exact opposite of what you want.

Auscalem

View image on Twitter

Source: http://mashable.com/2014/11/06/alex-from-target-memes-marketing/

Why It’s Hot:

Great opportunity for us to have some fun! AlexfromTarget is a great example of how something as simple as a Twitter pic of an employee can blow up into something huge! Memejacking is a hard thing to do as the internet a fickle fickle beast but if we do it right, it can go a long way for our brands. The article provides some basic how tos but sometimes you just have to get lucky and let it naturally blossom. Another thing that I feel like we need is a mascot. Especially for Verizon, since we’re selling a service, having a mascot might contextualize our product similar to Time Warner’s roadrunner.