Captivating Alcohol Brand Activations in 2023

News & Views

  • Tamara Olori
  • 6 February 2024
  • 4 Min Read

In 2023, the alcohol industry continued to ride the wave of engagement generated by innovative brand activations and celebrity endorsements. Perhaps the most prolific and high-profile was with Ryan Reynolds. His hit show Welcome to Wrexham , about a struggling Welsh football team, seamlessly incorporated his gin brand Aviation American Gin.  This unexpected partnership has sparked conversations and garnered attention for its unconventional approach to connecting with consumers. 

Moreover, this standout multi-platformed campaign puts Ryan Reynolds; Deadpool, The Proposal, (and Rob McElhenney; Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mythic Quest) as central figures in an immersive experience transcending advertising and sports sponsorship. The campaign ingeniously brings people together, (celebrity friends, family, and football fans) who like sports shows or documentaries where the underdog prevails. This was pretty much the whole of Wales, emphasising a commitment to fostering unity and shared moments. This means that the exposure the brand is getting is not just social media followers or a singular group of fans, it transcends traditional channels, incorporating TV audiences, authentic entertainment and utilising the power of celebrity endorsement in a new way. 

As part of this ground-breaking campaign, the series is a hit on television and across social accounts with a widespread and impactful reach. 

The Evolution of Alcohol Experiential Marketing 

Additionally, in the evolving landscape of alcohol brand activations, Dos Hombres Mezcal exemplifies the shift toward collaborative, cross-platform marketing. Recognising the need to go beyond conventional strategies, the brand is owned by Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad. This means they can capitalise on the synergy between the show’s setting and the origins of the drink. Regina Hall’s collaboration with Jameson Whisky saw her call for people to take a day off to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. The campaign elegantly incorporated humour, a day of drinking and a website letting consumers create a ‘desktop decoy’ for $17.80. All profits were donated to the Restaurant Workers Community Fund.  These creative, enjoyable campaigns that combine celebrity reach with humour, relevance and CSR are becoming more sophisticated and in demand. The collaborations are mutually beneficial; brands build recognition and visibility while the celebrity can expect high profits and credibility.  

The demonstrable success of this approach means that experiential marketing has come to be expected in a rapidly expanding marketplace predicted by Statista to be worth more than $2.2 trillion by 2025. 

Navigating the Challenges of Contemporary Alcohol Brand Marketing 

Nonetheless, amidst an ever-changing landscape, alcohol brands face challenges in catering to the preferences of younger consumers. This includes those looking for non-alcoholic drinks that still satisfy a feeling of indulgence and inclusion. Now, brands are exploring innovative avenues including the rising popularity of no or low-alcoholic drinks. This is creating new and exciting opportunities for industry players. 

Lucky Saint founder, Luke Boase, told The Challenger Project about opening a pub to celebrate and showcase the alcohol-free lager “First and foremost, the pub is the whole building. So it’s our head office, it’s a home for our team, and where we build culture. Secondly, it’s a physical manifestation of what the brand stands for. Somewhere where consumers can experience the brand.” 

As the industry continues to evolve, alcohol brands must remain agile and inventive; embracing new strategies resonating with the preferences of today’s consumers. In this era of constant change, the ability to adapt and deliver unique, immersive experiences will define the success of alcohol brand activations in 2024. 

Conclusion: Redefining Connection in the Alcohol Industry 

To summarise, in the wake of recent developments, the alcohol industry is witnessing a paradigm shift in brand activations. The collaboration between Snoop Dog and 19 Crimes wine is a testament to the industry’s commitment to creating meaningful connections with consumers. In an interview with CNN Travel, Snoop Dog said: “I didn’t grow up a wine drinker. Wine was foreign to me in my neighbourhood.” As brands continue exploring uncharted territories, the stage is set for a new era of alcohol experiential marketing. Marketing that goes beyond expectations and fosters genuine connections through humour, education and social responsibility. 

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