Besides craft beer, Progressive Alcohol Beverages (PAB) or Flavored Malt Beverages (FMB) are eating into the shorts of major breweries. In a recent industry standard IRI report, Mike’s Hard Lemonade was up a blistering 22% in 2011. All that new volume can not be generated from targeting females. They have been able to convince the male population to make the “Nice Change of Pace” in their marketing efforts.
I believe Mike’s has taken a page from Geico and launched multiple campaigns to break through traditional beer’s advertising dominance. (Here is a recent article on Geiko’s many campaigns strategy published by The New York Times.) Mike’s faces an uphill battle to continually take share and volume from traditional beers and must make sure marketing campaigns are fresh and not stalling out. As stated by Andy Horrow, CMO of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, the brand hopes to “Recognize real teams and real players who display a thirst to play hard, have fun and stand out from the crowd” in Mike’s Hard Sports video contest.
Since its birth, Mike’s has taken a quirky marketing approach and truly differentiated itself as the alternative to beer choices. Instead of forming professional sports associations, Mike’s is looking for “Nonconformist” sports and becoming the fan favorite with it’s athletes. This this recent article by AdAge, they term Mike’s: Official Drink of Hipster ‘Sports.’ These sports, such as badminton , boccie ball and dodge ball are not professional in any sort and are ripe for capitalization. Out of necessity, Mike has developed a social media campaign to guerrilla market these summer themed sports and find the new face for Mike’s Hard Sports.
Using facebook, consumers are encouraged to share their homemade videos in which they boast about an epic feat, share a special celebratory dance or share a special maneuver. 1 truly passionate fan will win a grand prize of $10,000 and a role in a future “Mike’s Hard” ad. In addition, you will be able to follow this campaign on twitter using hash tag : #mikeshardsports. For complete rules on entering, please visit: the mike’s hard lemonade® Facebook page.
Out of 2 entries posted, surely someone can muster a better video than this.