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Alcohol Brands Get Ready For Summer With Content Strategies And Partnerships

June 11, 2021 Sarah Cavill

The U.S. is a different place than it was a year ago, with the pandemic now mostly in the rearview mirror and people very excited to celebrate summer with their friends and family. And, though alcohol sales were robust during the pandemic, Nik Modi, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, thinks “This summer is going to be a completely different ballgame,” particularly for novelty drinks like hard seltzers. Modi and other analysts predict “annual [hard seltzer] sales will top $8 billion over the next four years,” according to an article in The New York Times about summer seltzer sales. (Sales of hard seltzers were around $500 million in 2018.)

Of course, consumers will also be enjoying beer, spirits and other cocktails over the coming summer months, and many brands are launching new multichannel digital advertising campaigns that emphasize real people enjoying everyday fun, purpose-led campaigns that resonate with consumers and lifestyle content that creates excitement. 

White Claw Creator Campaign Focused On Real People Splashes Down Across Social Media 

white claw

One of the biggest stories in the alcohol industry in recent years is the popularity of seltzers, with White Claw among the buzziest brands. White Claw has been particularly effective at leveraging user-generated content (UGC) to build the brand and create excitement. The brand explains, “Through [White Claw’s] social feeds, videos, hashtags and memes, fans have generated over 4 billion impressions and 46 times more social media mentions than competing brands.” 

White Claw is now taking those good vibes one step further with a new creator-focused campaign called “Let’s White Claw,” leveraging its fan “sub-culture” by “collaborating with a diverse group of creators from across the country and around the world to capture unscripted, in-the-moment content inspired by the feeling White Claw evokes.” The Let’s White Claw campaign features real people in real locations captured by the creators themselves. The White Claw creative includes music by up-and-coming artists to match the tone of each creator spot. This is White Claw’s first global ad campaign, and it is featured across social channels including Instagram and Twitter

Corona Partners With Oceanic Global On ‘Protect Our Beaches’ Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative

Many consumers prefer to shop with brands they believe in, and in response, many brands are adopting purpose-led missions and corporate social responsibility as part of their brand identities. Recently, Corona beer announced that it would be partnering with Oceanic Global for World Oceans Month on “Protect Our Beaches,” an initiative that focuses on both clearing 1 million pounds of plastic from beaches by 2025 and making Corona a more sustainable, eco-friendly company.  “Corona has partnered with Oceanic Global, a nonprofit leader in ocean conservation, to spearhead cleanups in some of the nation’s most polluted areas, as well as host community cleanups in select cities and locations across the country. Additionally, the international NGO is helping with the Corona brand’s sustainability efforts, predominantly by removing plastic across its business, including packaging, selling tools, merchandise and more, and replacing it with ocean-friendly alternatives and collaborating with eco-conscious vendors,” according to a press release about the partnership. 

The “Protect Our Beaches” initiative is promoted through an “integrated marketing campaign that includes TV, digital, social, retail and PR” and a QR code campaign that Corona customers can scan for the chance to win an “eco-friendly beach getaway or a collection of beach-friendly gear.” Recent research from Forester found that 50% of shoppers consider themselves “green consumers” who care about the broader environmental sustainability of their choices, making it good business for brands, like Corona, to care as well. 

Grey Goose Essences And Martini & Rossi Fiero Launch With Content Marketing And Brand Partnerships

For many consumers, summer is all about cocktail hour. Grey Goose and Martini & Rossi, two heritage brands well known for being classic components of many cocktails, both introduced new spirits ahead of the spring and summer season. The launches were accompanied by lush, colorful, creative multichannel advertising campaigns that featured videos, recipes and lifestyle content. Grey Goose Essences, a line of vodkas infused with real fruit and botanical essences, kicked off with a 60-second film on Oscar night. According to Grey Goose, the “Essences campaign film will run across traditional and digital channels, complemented with a range of digital and social-first assets and an exciting series of virtual and in-real-life elements that will be announced throughout spring and summer.” In addition to the inaugural commercial, Grey Goose is also sharing recipes and lifestyle content around the new Essences product on its website and social channels. 

Martini & Rossi

Similarly, Martini & Rossi launched Fiero ahead of the summer, tapping into Americans' new found love of the popular Italian spritz cocktail. In a brand partnership with Food & Wine, Martini & Rossi created a series of “premium article pages” that pair different Martini & Rossi Fiero cocktails with different Italian regions and cuisines. Like Grey Goose, Martini & Rossi shared recipes and celebratory content around the launch of the new spirit on its website and Instagram. Brands able to capture the imagination and interest of consumers, either with compelling, useful content or expertise, are often able to build trust and drive sales. 

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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