Having had huge success in the US, hard seltzers were bubbling over into the UK meeting the needs of changing drinking habits, healthier alcohol options and the desire for a bigger range of flavours. Unsurprisingly, a whole host of players were also rushing to meet these needs.
We helped introduce the low awareness audience of UK drinkers to the hard seltzer category and developed a personality for mike’s that ensured it was their obvious drink of choice for summer.
A couple of years ago, people in the UK didn’t really know what a hard seltzer was. If they did, it was probably because of White Claw, the RTD behemoth that was making its way over from the US with a big cultural and media presence. While the category was set to grow by +200% in 2019 here in the UK, awareness and consideration for hard seltzers was pretty low, even in the 18-34 age group, who were the key drivers of growth.
Despite mike’s Hard Lemonade being a key player in the launch of the category in US in the 90s, this was basically a brand launch in the UK. Working from a global platform, our campaign objectives were to increase awareness, consideration, and penetration.
Like our audience, mike’s doesn’t overcomplicate stuff. And so, like the drinks, our approach was made up of three key ingredients: taste, occasion, and personality, which we weighted up and down depending on our media goals.
1. Taste – showcase the refreshing and unpretentious flavours made with real fruit flavouring that negates any kind of compromise
2. Occasion – education for low market maturity around key drinking moments, like festivals or hanging out in the park
3. Personality – introduce the UK to this laidback, straight-talking brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously
Our campaign used these three pillars to provide a fresh take on the pretentiousness. In the category, in advertising and in the world in general, there are so many unnecessary complications that it’s a welcome change to let go of the BS and enjoy some refreshing, sparkling fun.
When you consider all the stupid stuff people have created, it’s a wonder that it took this long to make mike’s Hard Seltzer: a simple and delicious blend of alcohol, real fruit flavour and sparkling water. If you think about it, really, it’s Refreshingly Obvious.
We applied this global Refreshingly Obvious lens to our OOH, radio, and influencer campaign in the UK.
OOH was our key consideration driver, bringing to life the Refreshingly Obvious tone of voice through headlines, whilst showcasing the refreshing taste and real fruit flavour.
Radio & Podcast
We used similar messaging across digital radio and podcasts to land both personality and product education across the genres of sports, comedy, news, and politics.
Authenticity is a key ingredient of mike’s Hard Seltzer, but it has a tough time online. We partnered “mike-minded” influencers and gave them the freedom to create content that was a natural fit to them, while also landing our Refreshingly Obvious attitude and key messages around taste and occasion. Highlights from this were Lucy Mountain’s ‘How to open a can’ and Priscilla Anyabu’s birthday party.
Alongside the Always On social content, we invited our influencers to a pop-up boat party, where they could document their experience and encourage followers to purchase their own tickets. We later gifted them a Christmas advent calendar and asked them to create content promoting the product.
90% of the 18-34yo UK population saw mike’s ad at least 7 times
100 million impressions delivered across social channels
+16% growth in awareness
2x the penetration rate vs. 2020
#1 Hard Seltzer brand in repeat rate
mike's hard seltzer: Refreshingly Obvious
We helped introduce the low-awareness audience of UK drinkers to the hard seltzer category and achieved cut-through in a crowded market by developing a personality for mike’s that ensured it was the obvious drink of choice for summer.