Beverage Brands Look to Help Retailers Score This Football Season
NATIONAL REPORT — The return of football season means it’s time for consumers to choose which cold beverage they’ll be serving at their gameday festivities.
To kickoff the 2017-2018 season and help retailers score, these beverage brands are unveiling new marketing campaigns that are all about the customer experience:
Bud Light kicked off this season by debuting the first of the brand’s 2017 NFL TV spots, “Vendor,” which aired during the first game of the season between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 7.
“Vendor” is the newest creative from the brand's "Famous Among Friends" platform, which celebrates the fun times shared while building friendships over sports and beer. The spot features friendship that forms between a football fan and his beer vendor at the start of the season, which prompts the fan to wish he had access to his favorite Bud Light vendor outside of the stadium.
Additional football-themed TV creative will be unveiled later this season.
The brand also debuted the interactive Bud Light Touchdown Glass, which was distributed to fans in attendance at the Patriots vs. Chiefs game. The innovative glasses lit up blue for every Patriots scoring play.
In addition to the in-game experience and as a nod to the Patriots Super Bowl LI win, fans can purchase one of 28,300 Bud Light Touchdown Glasses online. The glasses can be connected at home to the Bud Light Touchdown Glass mobile app and will light up all season long whenever a fan’s favorite team scores a touchdown.
Patriot fans in attendance also had the opportunity to participate in a ceremonial toast as their illuminated Bud Light Touchdown Glasses shined in Patriot's blue when the Super Bowl LI banner was unveiled in Gillette Stadium — home of the Patriots — for the first time.
"Friendship and the NFL go hand-in-hand, and 'Vendor' brings to life a relatable fan experience with elements of Bud Light's quintessential humor," said Andy Goeler, vice president of Bud Light. "There are few things that bring friends together more than football, and using our partnership with the NFL helps us to tell Bud Light's friendship story in a meaningful way through not only our creative, but innovations like the Touchdown Glass. We're looking forward to another great NFL season."
Bud Light continues to serve as the official beer sponsor to the NFL.
White Plains, N.Y.-based Dos Equis returns for the second year as official beer sponsor of the College Football Playoff by celebrating fans who choose to put “Game Day Over Everything.”
Throughout the season, Dos Equis will engage with consumers through off- and on-premise point-of-sale (POS), giving them the chance to win a VIP experience at the National Championship game in Atlanta, in addition to other football-themed prizes.
Off-premise elements include: tailgate trunks, life-size Most Interesting Man statues, expandable case stackers to create retailer theater, as well as localized base wrap, tuck cards, price cards and cooler decals. On-premise elements include: new college football-themed tap handle toppers, back bar glorifiers and glassware. Dos Equis will also use out-of-home and digital media, and a new national TV commercial to drive awareness during the Playoffs.
The brand will also launch a sweepstakes that gives consumers the chance to win the grand prize: a VIP experience to the National Championship game in Atlanta. The program provides off-premise cross-merchandising opportunities with channel partners, including Avocados from Mexico, On the Border chips and dips, and on-premise with Frank’s RedHot sauces.
“The 2016 program drove impressive results with sales growth in all channels, and over 1 million total units of national and localized POS placed in stores. Supported with over $12 million in media throughout the September-January season, we’ll build on this success in 2017, as we continue to strengthen our partnership with college football, offer exciting experiences to Dos Equis drinkers…” commented Andrew Katz, vice president of marketing.
Dos Equis isn’t stopping there. In addition to the programs in place during the College Football season, the brand will be looking to anoint only one consumer as the “Most Interesting Fan.” This fan will be awarded the opportunity of a personalized life-sized statue placed in the College Football Hall of Fame — a first for Dos Equis.
Kicking off in September, the fully integrated campaign will come to life over 14 weeks during the college football season with TV, out-of-home, radio and digital advertising.
The first of four TV spots kicked off Sept. 2, which was the opening week of college football. In one spot, comedian Rob Riggle tries to prove to the Most Interesting Man that is the Most Interesting Fan. During the commercial, the Most Interesting Man is chiseling away at the winner’s life-sized statue, only to be interrupted by Riggle, determined to prove that he is the Most Interesting Fan.
On-premise and on-site experiences will celebrate the Most Interesting Fan at sampling events at participating accounts, at the Playoff Semifinals, and at the Hall of Fame in Atlanta during the national championship game. College football legends will also surprise fans at key match-ups all season long, encouraging tailgaters to showcase why they belong in the College Football Hall of Fame. Off-premise, Dos Equis will drive awareness and visibility at the point of purchase with standout packaging, localized dual branded POS, and a new partnership with Dr. Pepper.
Fans and shoppers can use #MostInterestingFanSearch to enter the contest on Twitter, Instagram and at DosEquis.com by sharing photos, videos or a tweet stating why they should be considered. Two finalists will be chosen in November and one winner will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame at an exclusive Dos Equis event on Jan. 7, 2018.
“Dos Equis search for the Most Interesting Fan is a great way to keep already engaged consumers even more engaged in the games and with the brand,” said Karla Flores, brand director for Dos Equis.
Pepsi is celebrating the football season with “The Fun Doesn’t End Zone,” which aims to connect fans to the fun all season-long through a host of off-the-field moments, promotions and entertaining content featuring NFL athletes.
The spotlight of the campaign is a series of The Fun Doesn’t End Zone TV ads, where Pepsi showcases players’ celebratory dance moves in three national commercials airing throughout the season. The first two spots debuted on Sept. 7 and feature Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley, along with an appearance by actor Rob Corddry.
Additional The Fun Doesn’t End Zone digital content is available on Pepsi’s YouTube page, where players answer unexpected questions. Pepsi and NFL-themed GIFs will also feature players and be available to share on social media.
Other campaign elements include:
Washington Redskins concert. In honor of PepsiCo's new partnership with the Washington Redskins, Pepsi and iHeartRadio Washington D.C.'s 98.7 WMZQ, Today's Best Country, hosted a concert to celebrate the season in Leesburg, Va., on Sept. 9. WMZQ personality Aly Jacobs emceed the event, which featured live performances by hit country making duo LOCASH and Michael Tyler, as well as prizes, game day swag and more.
NFL shield and team-specific packaging. NFL-themed cans are available nationwide with team-specific packaging on 16-ounce cans and 12-ounce 12-pack cans in 15 markets.
“They Win, You Score.” As an early start to the kickoff this season, Pepsi and Frito-Lay launched an exclusive on-pack Snapchat sweepstakes called "They Win, You Score." Through Oct. 7, fans can Snap-Unlock-Score on specially marked 20-ounce Pepsi bottles, 15-pack, 7.5-ounce mini-cans or specially marked Frito-Lay snacks for a chance at weekly prizes including Super Bowl LII tickets, 2018 NFL Pro Bowl tickets, 2018 season tickets their favorite team, and more.
Pepsi also celebrated the first game of the season by sponsoring NFL Kickoff Eve, at the home of the Super Bowl LI Champions, the New England Patriots, on Sept. 6.
"Football season is one of our favorite times of the year at Pepsi," said Chad Stubbs, vice president, Marketing, Pepsi. "Whether at the game or on your couch, NFL fans can pledge their team allegiance with first-of-its-kind Pepsi and team-branded cans. We're also excited to bring fans closer to the players they love through new TV ads and digital content showcasing the fun we have off the field."