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Five spirited alcoholic experiential marketing campaigns

By Joss Davidge

Alcoholic brands sure aren’t shy when it comes to the inventive use of experiential marketing. And they shouldn’t be.

For brands that trade on taste, friendship and spirited conversation, experiential is, quite simply, a perfect fit.

But it’s a crowded marketplace, and even the most established of alcoholic brands must recognise the challenge that lies before them: to stand out from the crowd and earn long-lasting brand love from increasingly savvy consumers.

Alcoholic brands must be prepared to go even further to own the experiential marketing game, to capture the imagination of fans both old and new, and to secure loyalty.

Luckily, a whole host of big names are rising to the occasion with spirited experiential campaigns that don’t leave a bitter taste in the mouth afterwards. Here are five of our recent favourites…

1. A one-hour shopping challenge from Beck’s

Relationships are all about give and take – but Beck’s is quite clear that when it comes to beer, there should be no compromise.

The brand’s ‘Beck’speriment’ campaign did a fantastic job of getting this message across in a way that couples worldwide can quickly relate to. The live brand experience turned the pain of fashion shopping on its head, setting men this challenge: keep your partner in the same clothes shop for a whole hour. The reward? A whole van full of Beck’s beer.

With the clock ticking, the inventive approaches that some of the men took to keeping their better halves in-store makes for compelling viewing. It also goes to show how far some fans are willing to go for a big serving of their favourite beer.

2. An unforgettable visit to the Macallan Residence

Style. Taste. Sophistication. These values all lie at the heart of The Macallan, the malt scotch whisky of choice for many. When the established brand chose to go down the experiential marketing route, these all needed to be brought to the fore in memorable fashion. The Macallan Residence achieved just that, through an immersive experience that brought key influencers far closer to the brand.

The brand’s experiential approach invited special guests to take part in a sensory tour through The Macallan 1824 series. Exclusivity was the key, with influencers carefully selected to make sure that the event reached its target audience in the right way.

During the course of the activity, taste buds were enlightened, noses were educated and iconic style choices were inspired. Not bad for a nights’ work.

3. A huge dilemma from Heineken

For more than a decade, here at BEcause we’ve encouraged millions of people to try and buy more Heineken brands through our creative sampling campaigns. And we love to do so. Why? Because Heineken is a brand that certainly understands how to push the experiential envelope to make a big impression, and isn’t afraid to do so.

The brand recently proved its mastery of the medium with an elaborate prank on one unsuspecting Italian football fan. The ‘prankvertising’ stunt saw this fan faced with the ultimate dilemma; one in which he had to choose between valued friendships and his one true passion.

It’s a memorable and, at times, cringe-worthy stunt that does a great job of adding extra personality and depth to Heineken’s sponsorship of the Champions League. We love it because it draws a strong and memorable link between the brand and one of the world’s favourite pastimes.

4. Say “Moshi Moshi” to Midori!

Creativity lives at the heart of memorable experiential campaigns, and liqueur brand Midori certainly didn’t hold back when it delivered this quirky activation.

To bring Midori’s vibrant world to life, the brand took consumers on an experiential journey with an immersive and sensory-engaging experience showcasing the brand’s heritage. A retro phone attached to a street billboard was used to entice passers-by into Midori’s wacky world, drawing visitors into three special rooms, each one more surreal than the last.

Throughout the experience, guests had the chance to sample a number of Midori cocktails for themselves, making it a feast for all the senses. It’s unlikely that anyone involved in this activation is unlikely to forget it anytime soon!

5. Scream for more with Farnham’s unique vending machine

We’ve saved the loudest for last! Farnham Ale & Lager took a very novel approach to make a splash at Quebec Beer Festival last year: a scream-activated vending machine.

Yes, you read that right. The brand’s experiential activation accepted only one type of payment: screams. And preferably, very loud ones.

Promising that ‘bitterness would be replaced with good,’ sensors within the machine measured the loudness and velocity of screams and dispensed beers to varying degrees of bitterness to mirror the results. The approach certainly captured the attention and drew strong reactions from those in attendance, in the process making sure that the brand stood out from a very big crowd of its competitors.  

Stay refreshed…

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