Samuel Adams Launches Feel-Good Holiday Campaign Amid Declining Beer Consumption

Samuel Adams is launching a campaign called “Toast Someone,” to encourage consumers to honor a simple gesture: a toast. In an effort to inspire drinkers to show their gratitude to someone who’s made a meaningful impact on their life, the American brewer has employed a glass raising social media challenge meant to drive awareness—and ultimately get people to drink more beer. 

Samuel Adams is asking fans to document themselves raising a glass to someone with a bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager then post the photo to their Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ToastSomeone. Participants are also encouraged to tag @SamuelAdamsBeer and the recipient. A bespoke augmented reality (AR) Snapchat filter will accompany the campaign. 

The campaign follows a survey conducted by the brand that shows 84 percent of Americans don’t express appreciation for others as often as they should, and 58 percent are more likely to do so during the holiday season.

Given 49 percent of survey respondents also said that feeling awkward was the biggest barrier to expressing appreciation, Samuel Addams has created a limited-edition “Toast Someone” two-pack carrier that fits two Boston Lagers and includes space for a written sentiment. Starting this week at retailers nationwide, while supplies last, the two-pack carriers will be available free of charge with any Samuel Adams purchase.

To demonstrate the power of a toast, Samuel Adams called on popular comedians like Brendan Schaub and Whitney Cummings to thank someone with a toast as opposed to a roast.

A feel-good initiative ahead of the holidays is an organic way to stand out from the crowd this season, especially amid US beer brands’ declining sales. Between 2012 and 2017, Bud Light saw its sales decrease 17 percent. Other beer brands such as Budweiser, Miller Lite and Coors Lite have also lost market share.

In its second-quarter results, Samuel Adams’ parent company Boston Beer noted, “We are disappointed with our Samuel Adams brand trends and continue to evolve our brand messaging.” Perhaps a touch of cause-marketing will help the brand bounce back.

Coca-Cola Great Britain Fuses Experiential, Cause Marketing To Launch Biggest Holiday Campaign

Coca-Cola Great Britain is re-launching its “Holidays are coming” campaign with the biggest media plan to date including out-of-home, a new global television ad, digital activity and experiential activations at UK travel hubs.

Interactive moments around the campaign will include surprise karaoke takeovers in central London. The Piccadilly Lights will live-stream popular Christmas songs on its screens for 90 minutes each time, accompanied by a choir who will encourage the public to sing along.

To celebrate the return of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon for a second year, Coca-Cola is infusing the Oxford Circus Underground train station with the scent of cinnamon. Starting December 9, consumers can also enjoy a cinnamon-inspired igloo experience at London’s Winterland in Fullham.

Coca-Cola partnered with Snapchat to create a bespoke lens to drive social engagement. An activation with Waze will also guide people to the nearest store where they can buy Coca-Cola products while on the go.

Lastly, Coca-Cola has created a new television spot for this iteration of the “Holidays are coming” campaign, set to air in December. 

The campaign, which kicked off with the brand’s annual Christmas tour truck on November 15, is tied to a charitable cause. As part of its partnership with homelessness charity, Crisis, Coca-Cola will help reunite unsuspecting friends and families on board for 19 stops nationwide. The brand will also donate 10 percent for every Coca-Cola can sample and recycled on the truck tour.

Coca-Cola Great Britain has continued to expand its recycling efforts since September when it launched the “Round in Circles” campaign. The multi-brand ad campaign was meant to raise awareness about its 100 percent-recyclable packaging initiative, which it supported by turning the Coca-Cola London Eye green for Recycle Week.

Kim Feil On Aspire Healthy Energy Drinks’ Rapid Growth And Women In Business

During this 180th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Kim Feil, chief marketing and strategy officer at Aspire Healthy Energy Drinks. She spent a number of years as a manufacturer, retailer and consultant in the industry. Most notably, before turning to board service and fast growth start-ups, Feil served as CMO at OfficeMax, Walgreens and Sara Lee.  

Feil discusses the importance of key mentors in her life, specifically the influence her Dad had on her. She also addresses the impact of the Network of Executive Women, an organization focused on empowering women executives and inclusion in the workplace. On the hard road to inclusion and diversity in the workplace, Feil shares, “it’s 2019 and the last Fortune 500 company not to have a woman, finally, put a woman on its board.”

Feil gives insight into the startup world through the story of Aspire, a healthy energy drink company that is quickly gaining traction in the industry. Their consumer passion is exceptionally high, and they have been able to move into major markets quickly. Aspire is on track to more than triple again this year and is currently in 4,600 stores. Feil shares more about their growth plans and “endgame” options.

  • Kim’s background in journalism and path into marketing. (02:19)
  • Mentors and their importance in your career. (03:28)
  • The Network of Executive Women, “More of a group that’s been mentors to me.” (03:50)
  • How to get to the CMO level and stay there. (05:12)
  • Combating Imposter Syndrome: “It comes down to how, especially for marketers, it’s such a combination of art and science.” (06:57)
  • Kim’s career shift into board service, startup and entrepreneurship. (08:04)
  • The story of Aspire. (10:40)
  • What’s the “endgame” for Aspire? (14:58)
  • The difference in marketing at a large corporation vs. a startup. (15:45)
  • The importance of Sampling: “Our number 1 marketing strategy.” (16:09)
  • The biggest challenges and opportunities for big brands and fast-growth companies. (17:58)
  • Discussing the goal of Naturally Network. “Their intent was to create an ecosystem of natural and healthier food products.” (19:50)
  • An experience from Kim’s past that defines who she is today. (22:21)
  • What three things fuel Kim day-to-day? (25:05)
  • Brands, companies or organizations to take note of. (26:44)
  • The future of marketing. (29:13)

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Adidas Highlights Sustainability With XR Experience At Flagship Paris Store

Today, adidas announces the launch of the eco-focused extended reality (XR) pilot project to bring attention to the sports brand’s ongoing sustainability efforts. The experience will be offered to customers at the adidas flagship store at Champs Elysees in Paris and will run for six weeks during the holiday season. 

Customers who have the adidas app on their mobile devices can enter an Augmented Reality (AR) Ocean World while visiting the flagship store. There, they’ll witness the impact of consumption and plastic waste on the environment. Accompanied by a giant whale, users will be tasked with collecting ocean garbage, while observing how it breaks into microscopic plastic particles, spins into a thread and transforms into the latest shoe in the new adidas collection, based on recycled plastic waste gathered on beaches and in coastal regions. 

As part of the adidas Platform A program, the cause marketing campaign aims to improve brand and sales growth, as well as stress the positive impact of digital innovations on retail. The initiative was created in collaboration with the creative agency MONOCHROME and eyecandylab, a tech company, specializing in developing interactive video-based AR experiences. 

Robin Sho Moser, CEO at eyecandylab said in a press release shared with AList: “Through our cooperation with adidas, we again demonstrate how Augmented Reality is disrupting a wide range of areas and how our technology plays a key role. Augmented Reality is very effective as a medium for storytelling because it completely integrates the user. Our project not only serves to position adidas as an innovator but also highlights the company’s environmental and sustainability activities.” 

As the project integrates the existing digital video screens in the Champs Elysees flagship store, it raises awareness of adidas’ sustainability efforts through powerful storytelling, evoking strong customer response. 

“Storytelling and [creating emotions is harder to do with consumers these days]. A brand always comes to life through emotions–and with more immersive content, it’s easier to pull the consumer into the story and create emotions with them. It’s a new approach in storytelling we would like to test and see the consumers’ feedback,” Florian Fiedler, senior manager Innovation and Trends at adidas told AList.

Walmart Adds Twist To Holiday Toy Catalog—Scannable Tech

For the first time, Walmart has added digital barcodes to its printed holiday toy catalog letting consumers browse and shop toys on the Walmart app. Customers with iOS and Android devices can use their phones to utilize the scan-and-shop feature to purchase toys including 150 exclusives straight from the catalog. 

Walmart’s digital twist on holiday marketing is being promoted in 35 million printed catalogs available in Walmart’s 4,800 US stores. Millions of catalogs are also being sent to customers’ homes and major omnichannel toy resellers in the US. 

The scannable catalog is part of Walmart’s major tech-enabled holiday initiative. New holiday shopping features include an online gift finder that yields personalized recommendations based on criteria, the ability to check out with an associate anywhere in the store and expanded abilities to place online orders from the store with an associate’s help.

In addition to offering consumers simplified shopping experiences, Walmart is ramping up in-store experiential events throughout the holiday season. The retailer will host themed events centered on the year’s film releases including Pokémon, Star Wars and Frozen 2

Last year, ahead of Black Friday, Walmart introduced to its app a store map feature that’s created uniquely for each store. The map allows customers to easily find an item’s exact location using new in-store signage that helps customers orient themselves. Also new to its holiday initiative last year was a redesigned website and the option of free two-day shipping without a membership fee.

Walmart’s quarterly earnings topped estimates, thanks to strength in the US, however, sales fell slightly short of estimates. A strong grocery business led to an increase in the retailer’s online sales by 41 percent in the third quarter. 

Polo Builds Ice Lounge Inside Bloomingdale’s To Promote Outerwear

Polo installed an ice lounge that’s kept at 18 degrees in Bloomingdale’s New York flagship to encourage customers to test out the brand’s outerwear, according to WWD

The Polar Ice Lounge, open from now until December 15, follows last year’s ice-skating rink the brand installed in the men’s department of Bloomingdale’s NY for the holiday season. 

Inside the lounge, created from more than 100 large ice blocks and 3,000 pounds of ice, customers are invited to try on one of the brand’s coats, including Polo’s battery-operated parkas. Customers can enjoy a cup of hot apple cider while capturing all the Instagramable moments inside. 

The lounge is a tie-in to Polo’s holiday advertising campaign, “Out of This World,” which draws inspiration from the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. A coffee sampling and virtual reality space experience are two immersive activations the retailer also has planned.

Bloomingdale’s group vice president of integrated marketing, Kevin Harter, said that the department store has a strong outerwear business with Polo, and that at last year’s skating rink activation, they sold over 30,000 cups of hot chocolate. 

Strong demand for Ralph Lauren Corp’s Polo shirts and tweed jackets in China helped the retailer grow its shares by nearly 14 percent. The company opened more stores in China and has partnered with local ecommerce platforms such as Alibaba’s Tmall and WeChat to enhance online sales. 

Stronger sales with core products indicate the brand is no longer one only dads are wearing. Appealing to a younger generation involved Polo launching a pop culture-based collection celebrating the 25th anniversary of Friends.

#GirlsHaveNoLimits: Mercedes-Benz USA And Mattel Celebrate National STEM/STEAM Day

In partnership with Mattel and the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP), Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) is launching the “No Limits” initiative to help erase the “That’s for boys, not for girls” stigma. The program kicks off today to correspond with the celebration of National STEM/STEAM Day, and as a part of it, MBUSA and Mattel will give away 50,000 Matchbox die-cast toy replicas of a Mercedes-Benz 220SE to participating children. The toy replica will also be available for purchase in stores nationwide beginning in December.

What makes Mercedes-Benz 220SE special is the fact that in this car, Ewy Rosqvist-von Korff, one of the most successful rally drivers, became the first woman to compete in and win the Argentine Grand Prix in 1962. 

Mark Aikman, general manager of marketing services for MBUSA said in a press release shared with AList: “Whatever they aspire to be–an astronaut, engineer, judge, nurse, even the President, we want all children to dream big, dream bold and never give up on that dream. We’ve seen that stories like Ewy’s–championing women trailblazers and achievers–can have a big impact by calling into question the gender stereotypes that children may inadvertently adopt.”

According to the National Science Board, women represent as low as 29 percent of the current science and engineering workforce and a lack of encouragement and role models is named by women as the main reason for not pursuing majors and careers in STEM. Aiming to change this, MBUSA, NGCP and Mattel will provide 50,000 young girls in the US with an opportunity to engineer toy racetracks, design cars, engage with female role models and attend STEM workshops and therefore, challenge gender stereotypes (which research shows can impact decisions later in life).  

“Our goal is to inspire children to imagine all that they can become and break down gender stereotypes in the toy aisle with purpose-driven programs like this. Most people don’t know that the creator of Matchbox made the first vehicle for his daughter who was only allowed to bring toys to school that fit inside a matchbox. So, from its origin, it has been an inclusive way for kids to explore the world around them,” said Amanda Moldavon, senior director, Vehicles Brand Creative at Mattel.

Subaru Builds Upon Cause Marketing Efforts With 12th ‘Share the Love Event’

Subaru is launching its 12th annual “Share the Love Event” with an ad campaign through national, broadcast, digital and streaming platform integrations including video partners such as Hulu, Roku and YouTube. 

The campaign is an extension of the automaker’s national charity efforts with The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels America and National Park Foundation. Subaru created five television spots that bring to life stories of those impacted by its philanthropic work with national charity partners. The emotive spots will air in 30- and 60-second formats on national television and 30- and 15-second formats in targeted digital and social media promotions.

To reach niche audiences, this year Subaru will participate in a series of episodes on the “Science Vs” podcast where local Subaru retailers share how the event has helped them make differences in their hometown charities.

Now through January 2, the automaker will also donate $250 to customers’ choice of charity when a vehicle is purchased or leased at one of its 632 retailers nationwide.

Cause marketing through its “Share the Love Event” has helped Subaru establish itself as more than just an automaker for the past decade. For the duration of the campaign, Subaru and its retailers have donated to the aforementioned charities as well as 1,220 additional hometown charities. By the end of its twelfth event, the company will have given $170 million.

In the latest fiscal year, however, Subaru’s operating profits plunged by almost half. Its net income dropped 33 percent and revenue declined 2.2 percent. Subaru’s earnings were undercut by quality problems including costly recalls and a temporary production shutdown in Japan.

2020 US Local Advertising Expected To Top $161 Billion

Total local advertising revenue in the US will reach $161.3 billion in 2020, up from $152.5 billion this year, according to new research from BIA Advisory Services. The “U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2020” shows that political and over-the-top (OTT) advertising and growth in mobile and social ads are reasons why the revenue landscape for 2020 looks robust.

The rise in local ad revenue in the US marks a 5.8 percent increase. Contributing to this growth is traditional media revenue, which accounts for 58.5 percent of total local advertising in 2020 at $94.4 billion—an increase from $93.2 billion in 2019 thanks to political ad spend. 

With the expectation of an aggressive presidential election, $6.58 billion will be spent in local political advertising in 2020, most of which will spread across over-the-air (OTA) television, online and digital, cable, radio and OTT. In each of the three top political revenue-generating markets—Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Phoenix—OTA television will comprise about 47 percent of political ad spend. 

Locally activated OTT advertising, on the other hand, will double from $1.06 billion in 2020 to $2.13 billion by 2024. 

The report also projects significant ad spending in native social ads next year. Current social media ad revenues from all forms of mobile devices represent 93.8 percent of total social ad spend. That figure will grow to 96 percent by 2024 as users shift from desktops to portable devices. The mobile native and social segment of mobile advertising is forecasted to grow 13.9 percent from 2019 to 2024, making it the fastest-growing area. Specifically, $29.5 billion will be spent on mobile in 2020, and $44.6 billion by 2024.

Findings are based on nationwide total US spending estimates for five years in addition to individual media forecasts for 13 media.

A. Bradley Nelson Appointed CMO At Sotheby’s International Realty

This week in marketing moves, Topgolf Entertainment Group welcomes Stuart as new chief marketing officer, Sotheby’s International Realty promotes A. Bradley Nelson to CMO. 

Sotheby’s International Realty Welcomes New Chief Marketing Officer

The global residential real estate brand, Sotheby’s International Realty, announced the promotion of A. Bradley Nelson to CMO. 

As the company’s long-time veteran, Nelson previously held several senior marketing roles at the realty firm. In his new position, he will be supporting the brand’s affiliated agents and companies by developing and delivering industry-leading marketing, product and technology offerings.

Nelson said about his appointment: “We are fortunate to have so many smart and successful agents affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty. By focusing on their end-user experience in our marketing, product and technology offerings, and by leveraging exclusive marketing partnerships offered by Sotheby’s auction house and our media partners, I believe we can help them effectively navigate the current competitive and transformational real estate environment as they focus on expertly serving their clients.”

Topgolf Entertainment Group Taps Stuart Foster As CMO

A global sports and entertainment community, Topgolf Entertainment Group, announced the appointment of Stuart Foster as CMO. Foster will be in charge of the sports community’s overall vision and strategy, engagement growth, venue visits and brand loyalty. He will report directly to the Topgolf Entertainment Group global chief marketing officer, Brian Radics. 

Previously, Foster was a VP Global Brand Marketing at Hilton Worldwide and previously led world-known brands such as L’Oréal and Moet Hennessy.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the Topgolf family. Topgolf has grown tremendously throughout the last several years, with an inspired vision and global community. I look forward to diving in with the team and helping take the venue business to the next level,” Foster said.

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