Has everyone heard quite enough about Dry January in 2020 and non-alcohol drinks yet?
In the same way that after Christmas and New Year most of us can’t hear the word gin or prosecco for a little while without wincing, the same might well be said for “alcohol-free” and “mocktail” come the end of January. Dry January campaigns now seems to be the runway for brands to see if they can win you over to their low and non-alcoholic booze all year round.
This year, there was a huge amount of activity from frankly, almost all major brands. Here are four in particular from across the world that managed to rise above the noise – or rather, the quiet sober calm – with some stand-out Dry January 2020 campaigns, and what brands can learn from these.
In the US, the brand launched ‘The Seedlip Social: A Drink for Every Drinker’ – a lovely online ad campaign, plus custom content and podcasts – and a partnership with Eater which used maps of New York and LA to show where drinkers could find bars serving Seedlip.
Seedlip was one of the first notable brands in this space, and it hasn’t slowed down with innovation. As well as launching its Aecorn aperitifs, its campaigns – and particularly the US activity to help drinkers find new venues – are not just growing the brand but growing and supporting the whole alcohol-free space – to the brand’s benefit, of course.
This is the big takeaway from Seedlip’s Dry January campaign activity: there is still huge potential for category growth, and that work supporting venues and generally spreading the word about alcohol-free options in general, alongside your brand message, can be hugely positive.
This activity fits neatly into the brewer’s ‘Now you can’ campaign, which has seen it running humorous ads around drinking 0.0 on occasions when you might not normally get away with having a beer.
Heineken’s work on 0.0 (as with Brewdog below) is all about, again, expanding the market for alcohol-free options. From promoting drinking the brand every single day in the month to suggesting you might have a 0.0 beer while driving or in a board meeting; Heineken is working to promote the idea of not drinking as much as its own brand. That said, this work really builds the core brand too and very much links Heineken – either alcoholic or alcohol-free – with the idea of having a nice time.
The bar, called (in true Brewdog style) Brewdog AF, opened in London’s Old Street on Monday 6 January, as the first of the company’s bars to be purely devoted to drinks without alcohol. The bar – which is still running – has 15 taps of draft alcohol-free craft beer. The brand also launched two new alcohol-free brands in January…
We’ve actually visited Brewdog AF as it’s around the corner from our office, and found it a great, inclusive place – somewhere between bar and coffee shop – with a really pleasant vibe. The clientele was a mix of post-work drinkers and coffee shop surfing remote workers.
Brewdog’s Dry Jan activities, unlike both Seedlip and Heineken, are more aimed at bolstering the Brewdog brand than anything else. The punk inclusivity of Brewdog’s positioning is well served by creating this welcoming space. As with Heineken, it’s a great way to get people on board with your brand and to associate it, covertly, with having a great time. According to the brand’s Instagram feed this week, ‘change is brewing’ at Brewdog AF, so it might not just be a flash in the pan.
Alcohol-free spirits brand STRYYK (@stryyk) has been running great content for a long time on Instagram, but upped its game for Dry January 2020, and it also ran a promotion for free premium mixers if you bought its products in January.
The Wagon Pop Up alcohol-free bar (@thewagonpopup) used Instagram as one of its main platforms for promotion during its month-long residency in Spitalfields in London. The bar ran a number of events and masterclasses over the month, supported by a strong, well designed Instagram presence.
New alcohol-free spirit brand Bax Botanics spent Dry January 2020 the month highlighting their brand, ingredients and recipes and establishing itself on the platform.
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