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Beer Brands Kick Off Social Media Activations To Offer COVID-19 Support

April 20, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Brands all over the country are adjusting and adapting to the changes brought on by coronavirus. From difficult shifts in company financials to customers stuck at home, most brands are dealing with factors they hadn’t accounted for when making their marketing plans for 2020. Despite these unexpected setbacks, brands are moving forward with campaigns and activations that are appropriate and effective for our new normal. Beer companies, in particular, have been proactive and in front with partnerships and creative ideas launched on their social media channels. Many of these new beer brand campaigns aim to help people struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Busch Lends A Hand To Brides And Bartenders Via Twitter And Instagram

Busch Beer twitter wedding plans tweet

Busch beer is running a social media contest aimed at couples whose wedding plans were delayed by the COVID-19 crisis. The Anheuser-Busch brand's spokesperson, known as Busch Guy, announced the contest on Twitter and Instagram: 250 couples who had to change their wedding plans because of the pandemic will each receive a year’s worth of Busch beer as consolation prizes. To enter the contest, couples must post pictures of themselves on Twitter or Instagram with details about how and when their celebrations will continue, with the hashtags #BuschWeddingGift and #Sweepstakes. Couples can also be nominated by friends using the hashtag #MyFriendsWedding.

Helping engaged couples isn’t the only way Busch is reaching out to consumers during coronavirus.  On March 26, Busch launched its first "Trivia Happy Hour" on Facebook Live. The weekly event airs every Thursday at 6 p.m. CT and is hosted by the Busch Guy with proceeds benefiting the U.S. Bartenders Guild (USBG). Busch donated $50,000 to USBG, which established a COVID-19 taskforce to help bartenders, and will match donations up to an additional $50,000.

According to Mobile Marketer, “Busch Beer's ‘Trivia Happy Hour’ on Facebook Live aims to bring the conviviality of bar trivia contests to social media while also supporting a good cause. As people turn to social networks to stay connected with the outside world, Busch can participate in those conversations among its most dedicated customers and provide entertainment for people who are coping with the stress of the pandemic.” Participants can win prizes including NASCAR tickets, TVs, free beer and discount codes for alcohol delivery service Drizly, with the added benefit of helping out bartenders struggling financially because of the need to close restaurants and bars.

A Virtual College Commencement Hosted By Natural Light On Facebook Live

Natural Light Beer natty's worldwide commencement

Among the many disruptive aspects of the self-isolation required to stop the spread of COVID-19 is the cancellation of high school and college graduations and commencements across the country. While many schools are hoping to hold ceremonies at later dates, Natural Light beer is stepping up to offer a fun alternative in the meanwhile. Natural Light has made college students the targeted audience of their marketing campaigns over the last several years, so an activation geared at that same audience makes sense for the brand. 

Graduating seniors are encouraged to sign-up at the Natty’s Worldwide Commencement microsite to watch the inspiring speeches and gain “sage advice” from featured speakers Mark Cuban, actress Jane Lynch, sports commentator Stephen A. Smith and Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini. The virtual commencement is hosted by actress and activist Amanda Cerny and will air on Facebook Live May 14 at 7 p.m. EST Natural Light will effectively gather opted-in, first-party data from the sign-up form, while offering a kindness to seniors missing out on graduation speeches at their own higher education institutions.

Michelob Ultra Has Partnered With Optimum Nutrition To Raise Money For Gym Employees

According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, gyms across the country employ more than 425,000 people whose jobs are in limbo due to gyms closing across the country. Michelob Ultra, which positions itself as a healthier, low-carb beer, has partnered with protein-shake brand Optimum Nutrition to livestream fitness classes while raising money for out-of-work fitness professionals. 

The “Movement by Michelob Ultra Live" series allows participants to tip trainers who appear in the videos. According to Mobile Marketer, “For each dollar donated, the beer brand and supplement maker Optimum Nutrition will match the donation up to $7,500 a week.” Adding, “The workouts will stream every Thursday at 6 p.m. ET on Michelob Ultra's Facebook Live, Instagram Live and YouTube Live channels, followed by a virtual happy hour that lets viewers ask trainers questions about health and fitness.” The campaign dovetails effectively with Michelob Ultra’s existing brand strategy as the beer for health-conscious consumers, who may now be looking for fitness opportunities while stuck inside.

In the third week of March, following the national push for self-isolation, alcohol sales were up 55% and beer sales were up 42%. Although sales tapered off somewhat in the following weeks, indicating that the uptick was partially a result of stocking up, people appear to be indulging in adult beverages more while in isolation. (During the week of March 30, Drizly saw a 461% sales increase over what the brand expected.) Beer companies that are both proactive and compassionate with effective social media campaign strategies, while also offering support to people impacted by COVID-19, are most likely to maintain and grow their market shares.

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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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