Technology, charitable partnerships spread marketing messages

In the war for consumers’ attention, beverage companies are leveraging the myriad options provided by the digital age. Some companies now are going straight to the source to reach consumers on their iPhone or computer, while others are creating partnerships with non-profit organizations.

Beverage apps
The popular iPhone App Store has had an influx of wine and spirits and beer-related applications. Find Craft Beer, which was nominated for the “2009 Best App Ever Award for the Best Feels Like a Local App” category on BestAppEver.com, searches a database of craft beer locations near the user using the phone’s GPS. Also, Jägermeister has launched an application that features a virtual tap for the user to “pour” a shot of Jager.

Digital ad campaign
Hpnotiq liqeur, completed a digital advertising campaign, created by the Hauser Group, Atlanta, that garnered more than 30 million impressions on Evite.com. The campaign included a sponsored social networking widget, an event invitation template and interactive banner ads. The company targeted women ages 21 to 34 who were planning get-togethers with other women, the company said, in a statement.

Jack Daniel’s supports tree planting
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Lynchburg, Tenn., will release a collectible bottle stamped with a tree, the sale of which will coincide with a tree-planting effort by American Forests, a nonprofit conservation organization. For every collectible bottle that is sold, American Forests will plant a tree. Planting 100,000 trees would be the equivalent of taking about 6,000 cars off the road for a year, American Forests said, in a statement. The 750 ml. bottle will be available April 1 with a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Muscle Milk-Ohio State partnership
Cytosport, Benicia, Calif., will partner with the Ohio State University Buckeyes to provide the university’s athletes with Muscle Milk-branded products in exchange for advertising to fans and alumni. The addition of the largest university in the U.S. brings the company’s total university partnerships to 24 since 2006, the company said, in a statement.

Nestlé donates to Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Greenwich, Conn.-based Nestlé’s brand of bottled water Pure Life has donated $250,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The company sold more than 2.5 million “Pink Pack” cases, which had a pink ribbon illustration and a message supporting breast cancer research and awareness. The cases were introduced during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Fuel Up to Play 60
The U.S. Department of Agriculture joined the National Football League, National Dairy Council, health organizations and private sector to fight childhood obesity in the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign.  The goal of the program, funded initially by America’s Dairy Farmers pledge of $250 million over the next five years, is to promote 60 minutes of physical activity each day among children and to improve food choices. The partnering organizations expect funding to grow as more government and private-sector organizations join the effort.

Education in Brazil
Cabana Cachaca, Brazil, is teaming up with the Developing Minds Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps fund education projects for impoverished children in Brazil, for a yearlong program to raise money for the foundation. For every bottle sold in 2010, Cabana Cachaca will donate $1 to the foundation. The company is working with others, too, to educate the public about the issue of poverty in Brazil.

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How beer brands are using social media to connect with consumers

Social media has become a buzzword for not just American consumers but also the business environment. Companies are turning to various social media channels to create brand awareness or possibly boost retail sales. Beer brands also are turning to social media to make their stories heard. Brand Chorus, a division of New York-based TippingGardner, conducted a Beer StoryScore Index for Beverage Industry. StoryScore is a quantitative measure of a brand’s storytelling through social management based on creativity, strategy and personality.

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