Mike’s Hard Lemonade works to connect with male millennials

In a play to resonate better with male millennials, especially 25-29 year olds, Mike’s Hard Lemonade and The Annex, an agency powered by Havas Chicago, has created “Drink on the Bright Side.”

Mike’s Hard Lemonade works to connect with male millennials / Courtesy of Mike's Hard Lemonade

In this campaign, they employ comedy to try and distract viewers from the negativity that fills T.V. and the internet.

“We changed it up because Mike's needed to be more relevant to millennial male consumers,” said Jason Peterson, chairman & chief creative officer, Havas Creative, U.S. “We started from scratch to make it a brand for those people.”

As a brand, Mike’s Hard Lemonade pivoted its strategy from celebrating the “occasion around drinking a Mike’s Hard Lemonade to the emotion felt when drinking it — pure happiness,” according to Havas Chicago.

In four parts, Smile, Jackpot, Arcade and Rocket Shoes, the brand used live action and green screens to bring a digital, videogame-like feeling to the campaign. In "Rocket Shoes," the character cracks open a Mike's and experiences flying, thanks to rocket shoes strapped to his feet.

"We're living in a time full of a lot of negativity, and lemonade is an inherently happy flavor. So it's silly to think about sad people drinking Mike's," said Sanjiv Gajiwala, Vice President of Marketing, Mike's Hard Lemonade, in a statement. Gajiwala also believes that, "Mike's is the only brand in alcohol beverage that is exclusively about happiness; by owning the happy feeling you experience when drinking a hard lemonade, we're having a conversation and an interaction with our consumers that's relevant to them."

In "Jackpot," they created a slot machine where the character ends up in a waterpark.

“We had a group of 20-somethings from the Annex sit around and hang out and have some Mike's with the client,” Peterson said. “They were all sitting around talking. And at this hang out the clients said that the one thing they truly believe in is that sad people don't drink Mike's. And we said, yep, that's the idea. The execution is supposed to make you feel happy when you see it, that's why it's based on internet culture.”

The ads will appear on T.V. — on networks like Comedy Central, Viceland, Fox Sports and FX — as well as pre-roll on YouTube and Hulu throughout the summer.

Haley Velasco

Haley Velasco is a writer based in Chicago, IL, who has a background in PR for a sports media company and has reported on a variety of topics, including sports, opinion, politics and celebrity news. Based in the Windy City, she covers industry happenings in the Midwest and throughout North America. She has been reporting for The Drum since May 2016.

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