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    New Marketing Initiatives Bubble Up From C-store Beverage Suppliers

    Brands shine in national ad spots.

    NATIONAL REPORT — New marketing promotions are in full-swing as beverage manufacturers turn plans into motion to ramp up consumer engagement through first-time national advertising, sweepstakes and point-of-sale (POS) displays.

    HEINEKEN USA BRANDS

    Two Heineken USA brands took the wrappers off new campaigns.

    Tecate's latest marketing move builds up to the May 6 fight between Canelo Alvarez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Beginning March 1, the beer brand's "Fight Night Every Night" is giving consumers the chance to win a "knockout" lineup of prizes and a chance to score tickets to the big night. 

    The marketing initiative will be driven by social media posts from Tecate, Golden Boy Promotions, Canelo and the "Chicas Tecate," who will share exclusive content to enhance awareness, drive excitement to amplify word of mouth, and drive consumers to the entry hub. 

    The proprietary "Bold Punch" app will give fans insider access to behind-the-scenes news and information. The promotion will focus on video to drive awareness, expand reach, and maximize impact, according to the White Plains-based company. 

    At retail, POS materials will secure in-store feature and display activity, and drive awareness and participation in the sweepstakes through the tecatebeerusa.com site.

    Tecate is also partnering with A Barcel snacks, Big Red sodas and Pernod Ricard USA spirits to drive traffic, cross merchandising, and sales in store for the at-home sport viewing occasion. In addition, sampling events supported by brand ambassadors will be hosted at local bars, liquor stores, and grocery stores.

    "With the meteoric growth of Mexican imports, and with boxing one of the most popular sports in Mexico, Tecate and boxing go hand in hand," said Juan Carlos Montes, commercial marketing manager for Tecate. "We are thrilled to be giving Tecate drinkers and boxing fans the opportunity to engage their passion for the sport in the nights — every night — leading up to the highly-anticipated event."

    In addition, Dos Equis is gearing up for its annual Cinco de Mayo celebration with a comprehensive program featuring national television advertising, media partnerships, and a national sweepstakes. Prizes include an exclusive Cinco Fiesta Kit to upgrade any Cinco de Mayo celebration, and a grand prize trip to Mexico.

    "With its singular Mexican heritage, and as the upscale Mexican import of choice, Dos Equis Cinco de Mayo program has all the elements to differentiate during the weeks leading up to Cinco de Mayo, a holiday typically cluttered with Mexican beer brand promotions," said Andrew Katz, vice president of marketing for Dos Equis. "By upping the interest and value added to the consumer, and making things even spicier this celebratory season, Dos Equis will be the beer of choice for Cinco de Mayo."

    As part of the campaign, a dedicated television spot, part of Dos Equis' newly refreshed Most Interesting Man campaign, will be accompanied by social media efforts including Facebook and Instagram.

    Additionally, Dos Equis is partnering with digital vendors Drizly and Touchtunes to amplify the promotional activity that runs from late March through Cinco de Mayo.

    Marketing moves also include in-store eye displays and "Spice Up Your Cinco" POS, and instant redeemable coupon and mail-in-rebate offers.

    The brand also entered into a cross-merchandising partnership with On The Border Chips & Dips, Kings Hawaiian Jalapeno rolls, and Jose Cuervo.

    MILKPEP 

    MilkPEP'S latest initiative from the Built With Chocolate Milk campaign features basketball player Klay Thompson, with the National Basketball League's Golden Warriors. According to the Washington, D.C.-based organization, the marketing campaign — which launched Feb. 13 — spotlights his distinct approach to training, performance and muscle recovery.

    As part of the efforts, Thompson stars in a 30-second television spot, and a print ad that shows his clutch basketball performance and highlights chocolate milk's "three-point play": nutrients to refuel muscles, natural protein to rebuild muscles, and backed by science.

    Through the partnership, retailers will have the opportunity to leverage POS and other marketing materials to provide basketball fans and exercisers an exclusive look at how Thompson's off-the-court recovery routine and mental motivation fuel his success on the court, according to MilkPEP.

    SPARKLING ICE

    Talking Rain Beverage Co., the maker of Sparkling Ice flavored sparkling waters, unveiled a multi-faceted national advertising campaign, "Be Not Bland."

    The $37-million campaign, with the mantra "Drink Not Bland. Be Not Bland," was conceptualized and executed by Seattle-based Wexley School for Girls, the Sparkling Ice creative agency of record. The Be Not Bland television spots are running on broadcast and cable networks including ABC, ESPN, E!, BRAVO and Comedy Central, according to the Preston, Wash.-based company. 

    It is the brand's first campaign to feature a series of commercial advertisements airing nationally.

    "The Sparkling Ice brand journey has been far from bland," said Kevin Klock, president and CEO of Talking Rain Beverage Co. "With over 6,000-percent sales growth since 2010, expansion into international markets, the addition of new line extensions, exciting brand partnerships and more, the time was right to roll out a campaign of this magnitude and attitude. Through Be Not Bland, Sparkling Ice will have an opportunity to showcase our brand personality and harness the momentum of this growth to reach a wider audience than ever before."

    To bring Be Not Bland to life, Sparkling Ice and Wexley School for Girls collaborated with comedy director Baker Smith to produce the brand's commercial spots. Shot in Los Angeles by production company Harvest Films, the campaign debuts three television spots focused on modern families in recognizable, everyday moments with one big twist.

    The brand's lead spot depicts a family at the dinner table. However, the entire spot was filmed with the cast and set flipped completely upside down.

    The Sparkling Ice Be Not Bland campaign kicked off on Feb. 15, with an integration on ABC's The Chew. Commercials will debut in conjunction with national print, online and interactive digital media, along with innovative field and in-store elements (3D graphics, scented displays) that play across all senses.

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