O’Doul’s and Match connect for sober-curious virtual dates

Dive Brief:

  • O’Doul’s and Match today (Jan. 14) are partnering to offer Virtual Date Kits, per details emailed to Marketing Dive. O’Doul’s is a non-alcoholic beer marketed by AB InBev.
  • The kit includes limited-edition O’Doul’s cans in Match’s signature blue color, custom socks, a candle, dating conversation cards, a smartphone stand and a selfie light. In addition, Match is updating its app to include drinking preferences that include “No Drinks,” “Depends on The Day,” “Anything in Moderation” and “Let’s Drink.”
  • The partnership taps into the pandemic-spurred surge in virtual first dates, along with a Match survey that found 32% of people feel social pressure to drink on a first date, but 43% are interested in trying a no- or low-alcohol drink on a first date.

Dive Insight:

The partnership between O’Doul’s and Match taps into several cultural and marketing trends, including the rise in virtual first dates due to the coronavirus pandemic and a growing interest in no- or low-alcohol drinks by younger consumers. As people sign up for a chance to receive a Virtual Date Kit, O’Doul’s and Match can collect valuable consumer data — the type of shared, second-party data that is a mounting priority for marketers.

Virtual experiences have become a marketing imperative during the pandemic, as consumers remain mostly housebound, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The O’Doul’s and Match effort follows similar virtual dating experiences by women-first dating app Bumble, which partnered with HBO Max and Airbnb in 2020 to meet this increased demand for at-home experiences.

The promotion also takes place during Dry January, a health-focused movement that was founded in 2013 and is becoming a time when beverage brands market their non-alcoholic or low-alcohol offerings to people taking a break from booze. Budweiser Zero this month assembled a squad of athlete ambassadors for a Team Zero campaign, while Danone’s Volvic water line last month gave people a chance to win a month’s supply of its bottled mineral water, replacing their “wet bar” with a “dry bar.

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