Mike’s Hard Lemonade touts new “multi-million dollar” marketing campaign

Mikes Hard Lemonade logoPress Release:

(Chicago, IL) – Mike’s Hard Lemonade today announced the launch of an unconventional national marketing campaign that delivers the message: different is refreshing in life and in a beverage. The brand, which has consistently owned the summer season with 49% of all PAB sales, is leading by example with a multi-million dollar campaign that includes TV, digital, mobile and social media. But expect the unexpected as mike’s will take a unique approach to each medium.

The centerpiece of the campaign — and the first work from Grey New York, the brand’s new advertising agency — is a series of original television commercials featuring guys interacting at familiar drinking occasions, like golf and fishing. But, in a bold departure from traditional beer category advertising, each of the commercials will start with the same scene, but then reveal a rotation of four hilarious and unexpected 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.

“We wanted to make good on our tagline of being ‘Always Different and Always Refreshing’ in this campaign,” said Andy Horrow, chief marketing officer of mike’s hard lemonade. “By using multiple refreshing endings, we engage and entertain our target guy and celebrate mike’s differentness in a way that’s as unexpected and unique as the brand itself.”

The 30- and 15-second spots begin airing May 9th 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.

Uncovering Brand Insights

The foundation for the creative campaign came from a six-month, in-depth exploration of consumers’ passion 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.

“The new mike’s campaign provides a jarring disruptive twist that makes you stop and take notice of the different and refreshing content,” says Tom Bernthal, CEO & founder at Kelton Research. “While advertising has become ubiquitous and often talks at consumers, mike’s engages and involves its audience by keeping them guessing and laughing.”

Consumers Make the Call

While TV ads will show consumers how to Do Summer Different(TM), mike’s will also present a series of unique digital engagement initiatives that include video, mobile and social media that empower consumers to change things up 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(R). Facebook fans can submit fun song recommendations to an “unclassic Mariachi band” online and watch them play the song of their choice live on May 4th. But this and all other digital and mobile initiatives only happen if enough consumers green light the idea.

mike’s will also engage adventure-seekers via a breakthrough 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, DC and New York; and one-day Adventures in Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago featuring fun-in-the-sun type activities.

And Now for Something Completely Different…

In another unique move, mike’s will launch cinema advertising in more than 750 theaters nationwide. The back-to-back 15-second spots begin May 9th, 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.”

About Mike’s Hard Lemonade

Chicago-based Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co. defined the $1.7 billion dollar flavored malt beverage category with the introduction of its ground breaking mike’s hard lemonade(R) in 1999. Mike’s core product line is comprised of premium malt beverages including mike’s hard lemonade(R), mike’s HARD PUNCH(R), and THE CLASSIC MARGARITA by mike’s(R). For further information, visit www.mikeshard.com.

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