Mike’s Hard Lemonade creates “brighter times”


Online takeover
of Washington Post
on April Fool’s day
is part of
“Drink on Bright Side”
campaign by Havas

Reading any newspaper these days can be a tough chore, given how much bad news there is. And make no mistake, there is a lot of bad.

Chicago-based Mike’s Hard Lemonade, its media agency Wavemaker and creative agency Havas Chicago are out to change that through a new summer campaign which kicked off on April Fool’s Day.

Called “The Brighter Times,” the campaign is a part of the three-year-old overall umbrella campaign “Drink on the Bright Side.” This takeover is designed to combat ongoing news fatigue and instead remind people of the joy-spreading potential of good news, taps into storytelling mediums like AI and digital to deliver happy news and smile-inducing content.

The campaign consists of a multi-platform, tech-centric partnership with The Washington Post’s creative agency, WP BrandStudio, and an activation with influencer Tank Sinatra of Tank’s Good News.

The Brighter Times kicks off on April Fool’s Day with a one-day WashingtonPost.com S(ad) Blocker homepage takeover that “blocks” negative news and directs readers to positive stories on the site.

Screen Shot 2019-04-03 at 10.04.58 AM
Mike’s Hard Lemonade bought a landing page for positive news at The Washington Post.

Wavemaker group planning director, Sara Bailer, had this to say, “Because a lot of people begin the day by reading the news, the goal was to come up with a campaign that helped them get off to a happy start.”

“We’ve introduced innovative ways to deliver happiness for the last 20 years, and every year we find new sources of joy to connect with Mike’s drinkers everywhere,” said Sanjiv Gajiwala, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co.

He added, “Mike’s is all about inspiring good times, but this year we’re taking our mission one step further to determine how these ‘good times’ make people feel. Through like-minded collaborations with media and influencers, we’re delivering new kinds of happiness as well as exploring its effect on our consumers.”

Details of The Brighter Times campaign include:

The Washington Post Homepage Ad Takeover & Joy Experiment Pop-up – In addition to the WashingtonPost.com S(ad) Blocker homepage takeover, Mike’s and WP BrandStudio are collaborating on a first-to-market research experiment that uses facial and emotional recognition software to dive into the impact of good news. The two will also harness artificial intelligence at a pop-up experience hosted in New York City in June where attendees will use facial recognition technology.

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Bringing Brighter Times to Local News – In a small market takeover, Mike’s identified North Platte, Nebraska to receive its own customized happy news. The brand will share its appreciation and gratitude for the close-knit community of North Platte by “interrupting” local news programming to deliver ad spots in the form of good news happening around the town.

Happy Feed Consumer Activation – To deliver happiness to people across the country, Mike’s is installing bright yellow newsstands nationwide. These newsstands will contain free newspapers with positive, smile-worthy stories curated in partnership with Tank’s Good News, for the cities’ residents and visitors to take.

Three New Spots

In addition, April Fools’ Day was also the beverage company’s birthday. To celebrate, three new digital and TV spots were dropped featuring people transforming ordinary situations into the extraordinary. Each also feature three custom mixes of the New Julius song “Bubbly” from Brooklyn-based music house Low Profile.

“This year, the creative spots are focused on delivering happiness to momentous occasions – in a heightened, meaningful way – that everyone can relate to,” said Tim Nolan, the executive creative director at Havas. “We created a bright, happy world that brings the irreverent vibe of the brand to life while celebrating good times everyone experiences.

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Nolan added, “To customize the spots further, Mike’s Hard Lemonade partnered with emerging artists New Julius to create their debut track, which is being released alongside the campaign. This not only creates a cultural artifact, but also opens a unique new avenue for cross-promoting and marketing Mike’s and a piece of music.”

These spots are going live in conjunction with the brand’s summer campaign also launching today – The Brighter Times – which is meant to celebrate the third year of its ‘Drink on the bright side’ mantra. The Brighter Times was created to combat ongoing news fatigue and instead remind people of the joy-spreading potential of good news.

Things are certainly looking brighter for the brand and its partners.

Client: Mike’s Hard Lemonade

Creative Agency: Havas Chicago
   Executive Creative Director: Tim Nolan
   Group Creative Director: Benny Jackson
   Associate Creative Director, Copy: Eric Kripas
   Copywriter: Tim Babb
   Art Director: Paul Domingo
   Executive Producer: Brigette Whisnant
   Business Manager: Sylvia Sanchez
   Senior Strategist: Casey Carpenter
   Group Account Director: Chrissy Bouyea Gajiwala
   Senior Account Director: Adam Burtaine
   Project Manager: Sarah Scanlon

Production Company: Golden
   Director: Ross Cooper
   Executive Producer: Rick Brown

Post Production Edit: Golden
   Editor: Volkert Besseling

Media Agency: Wavemaker

SOURCE: Havas Chicago