WWTT? Bud Light Promotes #OpenForTakeout During COVID-19

We’ve all heard about breweries and distilleries making hand sanitizer, as well as automakers producing medical equipment. But for this week’s “What Were They Thinking?” I have something a little different, but important: a campaign from Bud Light that supports the restaurant and bar industry, badly hit by COVID-19.

March 2020  which felt like it was a year long  is finally over. However, the coronavirus pandemic is far from over; many of us are staying at home under order of our local, state, or national governments, and doing the best we can personally and professionally. Through it all, it’s been uplifting to see communities come together to support each other (of course, while practicing the phrase of the year: social distancing), as well as the myriad brands stepping up and away from business as usual to also do their part.

We’ve all heard about breweries and distilleries shifting production to hand sanitizer, as well as automakers realigning their plants to produce the much needed medical equipment that healthcare workers need. These are such important stories, which have been covered a lot (as they should be). But for this week’s “What Were They Thinking?” I have something a little different, yet still important: a campaign from Bud Light in an effort to support the restaurant and bar industry, badly hit by COVID-19.

Our local restaurants and bars feed us; give us a place to come together with friends and family; and they make up so many of the important small businesses in our communities. While some have had to shutter, there are others who have managed to stay open (again, depending on local and state regulations here in the U.S.), offering takeout and delivery options. And this is where Bud Light steps in.

On Mar. 25, Bud Light debuted a new campaign, “Open for Takeout.” Powered by Bud Light, the new website encourages those establishments still open within the restaurant and bar industry to submit their info to be included on the website. The site’s focus is to help consumers across the U.S. locate spots that are #OpenForTakeout, while still practicing safe social distancing.

While money might be tough for a lot of people right now, there are those individuals who do have the spare cash for a takeout meal, which means Bud Light using their extensive reach can go a long way in extending the reach of the restaurant and bars they aim to help.

For me personally, there are at least 157 restaurants or bars within a 10-mile radius of my ZIP code, which gives me a lot of options after being cooped up all day in front of a computer and having no desire to cook (it happens from time to time).

Bud Light also is diverting some of their media spend to drive awareness of this consumer resource, offering added visibility for #OpenForTakeout, and their parent company, Anheuser-Busch has the following initiatives planned to support other COVID-19 efforts:

  • $5 million donation to the American Red Cross, as well as the donation of media air time to the Red Cross for PSAs.
  • Working alongside sports partners, Anheuser-Busch will identify available arenas and stadiums to be used for temporary blood drive centers.
  • The company’s tour centers in St. Louis, Mo. and Merrimack, NH will be made available to the Red Cross.
  • Anheuser-Busch’s supply and logistics network will produce and distribute bottles of hand sanitizer. The hand sanitizer will be used at Red Cross blood donation centers, as well as in an effort to support shelters for future relief efforts.

This partnership between the macro brewer and the Red Cross is, again, just another example of brands stepping away from business as usual, and considering what they can do with the resources and talent they have to play a role in the fight against the pandemic.

As for Bud Light’s initiative, this is personal for me (and I’m sure many others). I’m fortunate to know a lot of wonderful people in Philadelphia’s vibrant food and drink scene, and it crushes me to see so many of them out of work, many fighting to obtain unemployment, uncertain of their futures, and the restaurants and bars that once employed them facing the heartbreaking question of if they’ll ever be able to open their doors again.

I hope Bud Light’s Open for Takeout campaign truly helps those in the restaurant and bar industry across the country who are still open and feeding their local communities.

And finally, in my previous post from a couple weeks ago, I looked at two well-done email messages about COVID-19 that hit my inbox. Some readers shared publicly in the comments, as well as privately in emails to me, about what they had worked on and the response received, as well as about some of the good pieces they received themselves.

Feel free to keep commenting, and send me messages about what you’ve seen and done as well. As I’ve said, now is the time for sharing good news, and celebrating the little victories.

WWTT? Leap Day Fund From Stella Artois Promotes ‘Uncancelled’ Plans

Everyone does it: After a long day of work, household obligations, and more, the idea of cancelling plans to go out becomes absolute bliss. But for 2020, a year with a Leap Day, Stella Artois urged people to “uncancel” their plans for once and put the extra 24 hours to good use, supported by a Leap Day Fund.

Everyone does it: After a long day of work, household obligations, and more, the idea of cancelling plans to go out — and instead stay in with takeout, a movie or a good book, and your pajamas — becomes absolute bliss. Even more tempting when the weather is miserable out. But every cancelled plan is time lost with someone … and time is one thing that is impossible to get back once it’s gone. So for 2020, a year with a Leap Day, Stella Artois urged people to “uncancel” their plans for once and put the extra 24 hours to good use. To sweeten the deal, the Anheuser-Busch beer brand created a Leap Day Fund, and produced a short video to support the campaign.

The Leap Day Fund totals $366,000, to align with the 366 days in a Leap Year — and while the short film dramatizes the idea of receiving a reduced restaurant bill, the actual Leap Day Fund promotion functions a bit differently (but with the same focus of getting people to spend time together over a beer).

According to the Leap Day Fund promotion’s terms and conditions, consumers 21-plus can claim a portion of the fund to cover their Stella Artois purchase (up to a 24-pack) by sharing the film using the hashtag #UnCancelPromo and tagging someone else 21-plus they wanted to spend Leap Day with. Participants also needed to  be following @StellaArtois  on Twitter and/or Facebook, as well as make the beer purchase during the Leap Day period, defined as Feb. 26- Feb. 29.

Stella Artois even made it extremely easy (at least on Twitter) to take part in the promotion via the “Tweet #UnCancelPromo” as seen below:

WWTT? Stella Artois's Leap Day Fund Urges People 'Uncancel' Plans
Hit the button and your Twitter account is activated with a pre-filled tweet … you just need to tag someone!

Beyond the video and social media components, Stella Artois also had digital out-of-home ad (OOH) placements installed in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. These included  a QR code leading to the Leap Day film, along with a countdown reminding consumers to take advantage of the extra time on Leap Day to make plans and tap into the Leap Day Fund.

To be clear, this is a rebate promotion, and participants have until March 14 to submit their redemption, so while Leap Day has come and gone, sales numbers are not in yet.

I like that this campaign really puts for the idea of spending time together with the people you care about (and drinking). It reminds me a bit of Chik-Fil-A’s gift of time holiday promotion last year, just a little less family-oriented (unless that family is 21-plus, of course).

Centering it around Leap Day is clever, especially since it’s the kind of campaign you’ll only see every four years. But what do you think about the Stella Artois’s Leap Day Fund? Drop me a line in the comments!