AB InBev’s Cutwater Spirits taps ‘Schitt’s Creek’ star for multichannel campaign

Dive Brief:

  • Cutwater Spirits, the canned cocktail marketed by Anheuser-Busch, rolled out a multichannel campaign including a televised spot, digital takeovers, social media series and sweepstakes. The “Cut Out with Cutwater” campaign features actress and comedian Emily Hampshire, a brand enthusiast who starred in hit show “Schitt’s Creek,” per an announcement.
  • Cutwater’s 30-second “Cut Out” spot started running on ESPN, CBS Sports and social media. It also will run in regional markets including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Seattle on Feb. 7, but not as part of CBS’s national broadcast of the Super Bowl. Cutwater plans a national rollout on YouTube the next day.
  • While the ad focuses on outdoor adventures, Hampshire’s social content will offer at-home interpretations of how to “cut out” from the daily grind, as Cutwater attempts to advertise around fluctuating conditions of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dive Insight:

Cutwater’s multichannel campaign kicks off around what is usually a key day for the advertising world, albeit with a spot that will run regionally rather than nationally. As major players like sister brand Budweiser sit out the big game, the Super Bowl is shaping up as an opportunity for lesser-known brands to make an impact. With digital takeovers, social media content and a sweepstakes, Cutwater can make a bigger impact across multiple channels without spending the $5.5 million to $5.6 million that CBS is said to be seeking for a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl.

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Cutwater is the latest brand to recruit an actor from the hit show “Schitt’s Creek” for a campaign. Cellular service provider Visible in November touted its service with a multichannel effort starring actor Dan Levy. The campaign included five TV spots in which Levy highlighted the capabilities of the Verizon-backed carrier’s mobile plans. Earlier that month, retailer Hudson’s Bay featured “Schitt’s Creek” actresses Catherine O’Hara and Annie Murphy in holiday ads that ran on digital platforms and primetime TV.

The Cutwater’s Ultimate Backyard Sweepstakes will give people a chance to win prizes meant to help them “cut out” from the daily grind, including a yurt, fire pit, cabana chairs and cooler filled with Cutwater cocktails. Cutwater is asking people to post the hashtags #CutOutWithCutwater and #sweepstakes to its @CutwaterSpirits accounts on Twitter or Instagram during the Super Bowl.

The sweepstakes is reminiscent of counterprogramming strategies of other brands. GlaxoSmithKline’s Tums brand of antacids last year made the blue dot emoji the focal point for a Twitter sweepstakes during the Super Bowl. To enter the contest, viewers used the emoji to rate moments during the big game that caused the most most heartburn. Frank’s RedHot, the brand of hot sauce made by McCormick, last year livestreamed a game show hosted on Twitter during the Super Bowl, offering a chance to win branded swag and a cash prize. Mint Mobile, the prepaid cellular service partly owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, offered free service to people who signed up during the game. Volvo and Mercedes-Benz also have run hijack campaigns during past Super Bowls.

Anheuser-Busch will have four minutes of ad time during the national broadcast, featuring spots from Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer. Like Cutwater, Stella Artois will also advertise regionally during the game.

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