Mike’s Hard Lemonade's successful summer of millennial male marketing

Mike’s Hard Lemonade tapped into male millennial market with physical activations and adult beverages

Mike’s Hard Lemonade wanted to reach millennial males — specifically those aged 25-29 — this summer. In a partnership with Havas Chicago, the brand created a summer of marketing catered to the demographic.

The brand 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. The brand started off with the “Drink on the Bright Side” campaign in June, where they focused on the pure happiness that comes with drinking the product through traditional and digital advertisements.

“The choice to do activations goes back to what we tried to accomplish overall with the 'Drink on the Bright Side' campaign and the feeling it elicits: positivity and happiness,” said Sanjiv Gajiwala, vice president of marketing for Mike’s Hard Lemonade. “That’s our core belief as a brand – sad people don’t drink Mike’s. We brought this campaign to life by focusing on speaking the language of our target consumer – millennial males – and pushing out content to make people laugh.”

To create an exciting activation, the brand brought rapper and comedian Lil Dicky to deliver Mike’s Hard Lemonade, thanks to alcohol delivery app Drizly, to three unsuspecting pregames. Pair adult beverages, some rapping, delivery and a yellow Mike’s Hard Lemonade branded automobile and you have the idea.

“We aimed to find a partner who represents fun and good times, someone who also resonated with the everyday millennial male,” Gajiwala said. “In the end, it came down to the fact that Mike’s Hard Lemonade is dedicated to spreading happiness, just as Lil Dicky is. We like to say that you can't crack open a bottle — or watch a music video from Lil Dicky — without cracking a smile.”

In addition to the Deliver the Unexpected activations, they worked with Mashable and WeWork to create Brighter Hours and transformed their common spaces into the happiest happy hour – filled with a ball pit, Mike’s Hard Lemonade slushies, balloons, music, a skee ball machine, an airbrush artist and more.

According to Havas, the campaign helped both drive sales and increase brand metrics. Mike’s Hard Lemonade remained as the #1 flavored malt beverage. The brand also experienced lifts in brand favorability (+10 pts) and purchase consideration (+16pts), according to the Millward Brown Brand Lift Study from August.

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