Stella Artois debuts mock financial services company to ease tax season stress

Dive Brief:

  • Stella Artois is launching a campaign to help people with the stresses of tax season as the filing deadline approaches next month. The AB InBev-owned beer brand created Stella Mutual, a mock financial services company that urges people to invest their time in each other instead of “worrying about the best tax deductions,” per an announcement shared with Marketing Dive.
  • People can become “account holders” in Stella Mutual by resharing the mock financial brand’s posts on social media by April 1 for a chance to win $2,500 in cash, a refrigerator stocked with Stella Artois and a year’s supply of beer, among other prizes. Stella also is giving away a tandem bicycle as an “investment vehicle” for a couple to spend more time together and kits for a pizza-making party.
  • The brand enlisted Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit and founder of Seven Seven Six, as a “funancial adviser.” Stella Mutual is part of the beer brand’s “Invest Your Heartbeats in the Life Artois” campaign that started last month with a commercial during the Super Bowl, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:

Stella Artois seeks to deepen engagement with consumers by asking them to participate in the rollout of Stella Mutual, whose purpose is to bring people together for enjoyable experiences. Tax season is an occasion to continue the theme of its “Invest Your Heartbeats” campaign that started with a splashy Super Bowl commercial starring singer Lenny Kravitz. Inspired by the idea that a person’s heart beats 2.5 billion times in a lifetime, the 30-second “Heartbeat Billionaire” spot urged people to invest their heartbeats in creating good memories. The rollout of Stella Mutual is the latest sign that the beer brand is continuing that theme of showing investments as social occasions, not financial decisions.

When Stella introduced the “Invest Your Heartbeats” campaign, it hinted that it would make future announcements to “keep people investing in each other through winter with special incentives and unforgettable experiences.” Stella asked people to tag friends on Twitter who had made the year special for a chance to win a round of beers to enjoy together. It also planned to run the campaign through March with TV, online, social and out-of-home advertising. The Stella Mutual activation plays off the financial services theme with several giveaways and experiential activations.

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In addition to its “Heartbearts Billionaire” campaign, Stella has run a variety of promotions to urge people to enjoy good times together, even when the pandemic prevented big gatherings. The brand in January partnered with meal kit service Blue Apron to offer a menu of food to prepare for a small Super Bowl party. It also streamed a special version of its “Stella Sessions” cooking show to demonstrate how to make the food. In December, Stella’s social media contest gave Broadway fans who couldn’t go to theaters in person a chance to see a livestreamed performance of songs from the musical “Jagged Little Pill.” Stella also created a virtual Hotel Artois at Home experience to provide luxury hotel services to homebound viewers, and partnered with travel site Tripadvisor to turn canceled vacations into fun “staycation” experiences.

Stella’s parent company AB InBev last month said it expected 2021 to be “meaningfully” better for revenue and profit as the global economy recovered from the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s organic sales, which don’t include currency moves and acquisitions and divestitures, grew 4.5% from a year earlier. Reported revenue fell 4.3% to $12.8 billion from $13.3 billion a year earlier as its product volume slipped 5.7%, per its quarterly earnings report

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