Hard seltzer brand plans ‘biggest digital cheers in history’ to bartenders

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Brief:

  • Crook & Marker, the alcoholic beverage brand started in 2018 by the founder of Bai, is urging social media users to raise their glasses in the biggest “digital cheers in history” to bartenders who have suffered financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. The #CheersUp campaign will launch on April 2 at 6 p.m. ET, per an announcement.
  • At that time, Crook & Marker urges consumers of legal drinking age to post selfies or livestream videos of themselves offering a toast on Instagram or Facebook using the #CheersUp hashtag. The beverage brand will donate $1 to the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program for every social media post up to $10,000, per the campaign’s website.
  • The brand also urges people to donate to the program, which provides financial assistance to people in the beverage and service industries. Crook & Marker plans to launch other initiatives for the #CheersUp campaign, including livestreamed concerts, a content hub with information and suggestions for staying indoors and “random acts” of kindness, per its announcement.

Insight:

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an outpouring of support for workers in the hospitality industry who have either lost their jobs or seen cutbacks in hours as government authorities order the closure of public gathering places like bars and restaurants. Crook & Marker is participating in those efforts with its #CheersUp social media push that aims to unite people in support of those workers who face uncertainty about when they’ll be allowed to return to their jobs. By running a social media campaign, the brand can extend the effort among people who share their selfies and livestreams with friends, family and followers.

Crook & Marker also can foster positive consumer sentiment for supporting a social cause, which has become a key part of marketing strategies during pandemic. Mission-based marketing has surged by 42% while cause-related marketing has jumped 41% amid the crisis, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found in a survey of advertising executives. Almost two thirds (63%) of advertisers have changed their messaging because of the pandemic, the survey found, as their messaging focuses on altruism and providing comfort for people who are worried about their health and economy. About 48% of consumers worldwide believe the economy will suffer, while 43% are concerned about fatalities from the pandemic, McCann Worldgroup found in a separate survey

The pandemic has led alcohol brands, whose advertising typically emphasizes social outings and other fun occasions, to revamp their messaging as more people remain stuck at home. Busch Beer, as one example, last week premiered a weekly livestreamed trivia game show on Facebook to raise money for bartenders facing financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Irish beer maker Guinness, which typically runs massive promotions for St. Patrick’s Day, this month donated $500,000 to charity and ran an inspirational ad as many communities canceled parades and other public events around the occasion.