Truly Hard Seltzer targets millennials shunning Dry January

Dive Brief:

  • Truly Hard Seltzer, the brand marketed by Samuel Adams owner Boston Beer, launched a “Try January” campaign to promote the first alcoholic seltzer infused with tea. This month’s rollout of Truly Iced Tea Hard Seltzer follows the brand’s introduction of Truly Lemonade hard seltzer last year, per an announcement.
  • As part of the “Try January” campaign, Truly created a microsite to give away branded merchandise including hats, sweatshirts, koozies and fanny packs to the first 900 respondents. The site also let consumers who are abstaining from alcohol in January to save their items until Feb. 1.
  • Truly’s “Try January” campaign runs contrary to the growing awareness of the Dry January movement that urges people to abstain from alcohol after overindulging during the holiday season. Alcohol brands have responded in different ways, such as reinforcing their messaging about moderation.

Dive Insight:

Truly’s “Try January” campaign plays off the publicity of the Dry January movement that’s gained attention in the U.S. in recent years. While Dry January has turned into an occasion for marketers of beer, wine and spirits to promote their non-alcoholic beverages or to urge moderation, Truly’s campaign targets the 62% of over-21 millennials that didn’t plan to partake in the movement, per a YPulse survey shared by the brand. By offering free branded merchandise, Truly joins the countless brands that have engaged with consumers by working to become lifestyle brands.

A charity group started the Dry January effort in the U.K. nine years ago to urge people to “ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline and save some serious money” by abstaining from alcohol for 31 days. Since then, more people have accepted the challenge, often sharing their progress on social media with the #DryJanuary hashtag.

This year, several beer brands continued recent efforts to tap into the movement. AB InBev’s non-alcoholic beer brand O’Doul’s last week partnered with dating site Match to offer Virtual Date Kits to urge people to meet up online instead of in person during the pandemic. Budweiser this month launched a campaign to promote Budweiser Zero, its first zero-alcohol beer, by recruiting a group of athletes as brand ambassadors for its Team Zero campaign.

Hard seltzer has been a high-growth category for Boston Beer, which last year said it would expand its 2021 lineup with the introduction of Truly Iced Tea Hard Seltzer. The company boosted marketing spending by 12% to $108 million in Q3 from a year earlier, an expenditure that included its “Live Truly” campaign for its fast-growing hard seltzer line. The company’s revenue surged 30% to $492.8 million during the period as hard seltzer sales continued to climb, per its quarterly earnings announcement.

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