Mike's Hard Lemonade Launches New Ad Campaign

TV, digital platforms engage "guys" with different endings

Published in CSP Daily News

CHICAGO -- Mike's Hard Lemonade Co. has announced the launch of what it calls an "unconventional" national marketing campaign that delivers the message: "different is refreshing in life and in a beverage." The brand's multi-million-dollar campaign includes TV, digital, mobile and social media.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a series of original TV commercials featuring guys interacting at familiar drinking occasions, like golf and fishing. But, in a departure from traditional beer category advertising, each of the commercials will start with the same scene, but then reveal a rotation of four finales to reinforce that when guys bring mike's to the occasion, they never know how things will turn out.

All the spots end with the tagline: "mike's hard lemonade: Always Different, Always Refreshing."

In one vignette, a golfer goes to retrieve his ball from the cup and two convicts on the lam burst from under the green with a policeman in pursuit. In another, he takes his ball out of the hole and a spontaneous lottery drawing ensues.

The 15- and 30-second spots begin airing May 9 on "guy-targeted" television outlets, including: Comedy Central, E!, ESPN, F/X, NBA TV, SPIKE, TBS, Turner Sports, NBC Sports, Fuel and Speed and digital channels such as: hulu, ABC, NBC and Discovery Network.

The foundation for the creative campaign came from a six-month, in-depth exploration of consumers' feelings for the brand through a series of online communities, ethnographies, in-situation parties and co-creation workshops conducted by Kelton, a brand insights and marketing strategy consultancy.

Mike's will also present a series of digital engagement initiatives that include video, mobile and social media that empower consumers to change things and choose how the promotion plays out. The first execution (of nine total) is the invention of Cuatro de Mayo, a holiday sponsored by The Classic Margarita by mike's. Facebook fans can submit song recommendations to an "unclassic Mariachi band" online and watch them play the song of their choice live. But this and all other digital and mobile initiatives only happen if enough consumers approve of the idea.

Mike's will also engage adventure-seekers via a experiential partnership with LivingSocial in key brand markets. In a first for the beverage alcohol category, mike's will serve as the exclusive adult beverage and sponsor for LivingSocial's Adventures 21+ Memorial Day Weekend Summer Camp in New York; Labor Day Weekend Summer Camps in Washington, D.C., and New York; and one-day Adventures in Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago.

In another move, Mike's will launch cinema advertising in more than 750 theaters nationwide. The back-to-back 15-second spots begin May 9, courtesy of Horizon Media. TPN Chicago will manage retail activation, promotional activity and point-of-sale materials for the summer campaign, under the banner of "Do Summer Different."

Chicago-based Mike's introduced of its mike's hard lemonade in 1999. Mike's core product line is comprised of premium malt beverages including mike's hard lemonade, mike's Hard Punch and The Classic Margarita by mike's.

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packaged beverages