Brands Supporting a Summer of Connection

When we think of summer, it is hard not to imagine grilling outside with family and friends, crowding around a music festival stage, or watching a beach sunset. While warmer weather signals moving the party outside, go-to summer experiences look different this year, and many must shift to smaller, safer activities. For consumers, maintaining traditions contributes to a sense of comfort and connection. To support these traditions, businesses need to re-prioritize their marketing strategies and create simplicity for their target audiences. From purpose-driven marketing to product portfolio transformations, these brands are finding innovative ways to create interest and engagement around summer plans:

High Impact Messaging

Budweiser, known for its inspirational ads, has launched a new campaign to honor those who have fought for our freedom as well as essential workers in the fight against COVID-19. The American-style lager brand released a short film, “Take Two Minutes,” to highlight the parallels between soldiers and healthcare workers preparing for the front lines. They also revealed patriotic-centric cans to integrate their products into the cause. For every case purchased, $1 will be donated to Folds of Honor, a military nonprofit providing educational scholarships to families of fallen and disabled service members.

Fellow Anheuser-Busch brand, Busch Light, is offering a limited-edition puzzle aimed at supporting a favorite at-home pastime as well as encouraging spending time outside with a chance to win a $5,000 outdoor adventure. To be entered into the sweepstakes, consumers who receive a puzzle with the “Busch Guy” holding the coveted golden beer must share a photo to social media and use the relevant contest hashtags. Busch Light will also donate $5 from each puzzle purchase to National Forest Foundation tour guides affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. By providing consumers with an engaging indoor activity with a cause, Anheuser-Busch is leveraging user-generated content to connect and extend social reach. 

Earth-Friendly Ingredients

Few things get a group of people together like cooking over an open flame, and with an increase in food category experimentation, more people are embracing meat alternatives. Beyond Meat, a massive disruptor to the meat industry, tapped into consumers’ desire for healthier options this summer with its “Cookout Classic” value pack campaign of ten burgers for $15.99. To keep the focus on sustainability its packaging is fully recyclable. By offering eco-friendly bulk at the lowest price to date, the brand aims to create accessibility and inspire plant-based menus this summer.

In addition to their delicious, cranberry beverages, Ocean Spray also cares about the environment. The brand recently announced it is the first major farmer-owned cooperative to achieve 100% sustainably grown verification for its cranberries by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform. With a focus on making a positive impact, Ocean Spray has teamed up with Nature to showcase their commitment to sustainability practices. The creative includes vibrant visuals of Ocean Spray farmers working closely with different elements of nature to underline their eco-collaboration.

Backyard BBQ Refresh

From ketchup to baked beans, Kraft Heinz Company is a must-have at summer barbeques. Offering a modern twist to its iconic features the global food producer has paired with creative agency, Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR), in its first-ever master brand identity. The limited-edition packaging—released earlier this year to celebrate its 150th anniversary—has driven an 11% increase in year-on-year sales volume. The visual identity, logo, brand strategy, and packaging across 20 product categories were all redesigned to create a unified consumer experience and ensure sustainable growth for the company.

Whether contributing to a cause or embracing the great outdoors, people are looking for unique ways to stay connected. Although the guest list may be tight this summer, brands need to find creative ways to be involved in consumers’ summer activities. By inspiring unique at-home experiences, highlighting ways consumers can enjoy a product on their own rather than in a large group, or providing an enhanced digital presence, businesses can safely guide consumers through the summer season.

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