Double prizes

To celebrate the launch of the “double-awesome combo” of Nestlé USA’s limited-edition Nestlé Nesquik Girl Scouts Caramel Coconut and Thin Mints flavors, the chocolate milk brand launched a Double Awesome Twitter Contest. Through Oct. 19, fans are invited to tweet pictures of their double-awesome moments — moments that include enjoying one of the Nestlé Nesquik Girl Scouts flavors and doing their favorite activity — using the hashtag #DblAwesomeContest. The grand-prize winner will receive a trip for two for their own double-awesome adventure. Trip options for the grand-prize winner include a ski trip to Salt Lake City; a big-city experience in New York; a seaside vacation in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; or a weekend getaway to Orlando, Fla. Each prize package option includes a two-day trip, round-trip airfare, accommodations and $500 spending cash.


Going to the dogs

After 19 years on the market, Saint Arnold Brewing Co. is giving its Brown Ale a new name — Saint Arnold Ale Wagger — and a new purpose. The craft brewer teamed up with the City of Houston’s Barriers Against Repeated Cruelty (BARC) Animal Shelter and Adoptions to encourage responsible pet ownership and urge the craft beer community to adopt homeless animals. Proceeds from sales of Ale Wagger will support BARC’s spay and neuter initiatives. In addition, the brewery hosted an Ale Wagger pet adoption event in early October to help animals find homes.


You talkin’ to me?

After encouraging consumers to “drink up,” the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) now is encouraging consumers to keep drinking. As part of its Drink Up #spreadthewater initiative, the organization created a talking Drink Up fountain that dispenses entertaining greetings and compliments intended to entice the consumer to continue sipping the water. When a drinker’s lips touch the water, a circuit is completed that activates the speakers and makes the fountain talk. When the drinker pulls his or her head away, the circuit is broken, and the voice stops. PHA also set up hidden cameras to watch unsuspecting consumers interacting with the fountain in New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge Park and posted the footage to YouTube.


Call in the experts

To help make home entertaining easier this fall, Pinnacle Vodka is calling in the lifestyle experts. From Sept. 5 through Oct. 17, the brand is hosting a “5 on Friday” program to provide five simple and stylish home-entertaining tips. These ideas are designed to help hostesses plan a variety of at-home events, including a next-level brunch, girls game night, Sunday Funday, book club social and more. Each set of tips is paired with a signature cocktail highlighting some of Pinnacle Vodka’s most popular products, including its Original, Peach, Cinnabon and Whipped vodkas.


Everyone’s an insider

Although many brands covet the position of being included in a celebrity swag bag at an exclusive event, ready-to-drink coffee illy issimo and natural energy and vitamin supplement EBoost took part in a pilot program that brings these bags of goodies to any moviegoer. The Hollywood Ticket is an Academy Awards-style “swag” bag filled with exclusive merchandise and offers from emerging lifestyle brands. For a few extra dollars, movie patrons can upgrade their tickets to a Hollywood Ticket to receive the Hollywood star treatment. In the test launch, 300 Hollywood Ticket bags filled with illy issimo; EBoost; and other celebrity favorites, samples and exclusive offers were given to celebrities and VIPs at an opening night garden party before a screening of Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight” film in Rhode Island and sold to moviegoers at The Jane Pickens Theater & Event Center in Newport, R.I. Two-thirds of the supply was gone within 72 hours, a Hollywood Ticket spokesperson reports.  


Be honest …  

Once again, Honest Tea hit the streets to determine the honesty of Americans. From July 16 through Aug. 12, The Coca-Cola Co. subsidiary set up unmanned racks of cold Honest Tea beverages offered for $1 on the honor system in 60 locations across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. As a result, the company determined that Honolulu was the most honest city, and Providence, R.I., was the least honest city. It also found that women were more honest than men, and blondes were more honest than people with other hair colors. In a new twist this year, an online component tested the honesty of people via an honor pact. Through a Facebook application, people were asked to share an inspirational quote on their wall, or not, in return for a coupon. Research found that these consumers were 95 percent honest. To view the complete results, visit


In the pilot’s seat 

To build excitement for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, which took place Sept. 6-7 in Texas, Red Bull collaborated with a local RaceTrac gas and convenience store to virtually put shoppers in the pilot’s seat. By wearing a specially designed 360-degree Oculus headset equipped with stereo vision and sound, shoppers could fly through the skies through the eyes of race pilots reaching speeds as fast as 230 mph while competing just 50-80 feet off the ground. During the month of August, to further bring the Red Bull Air Race World Championship to life, the RaceTrac store included Red Bull Air Race World Championship event images on every window and gas pump, a Red Bull cooler with a video screen door featuring footage of the world’s fastest motorsport, and a replica Red Bull Air Race World Championship plane “flying” high above RaceTrac’s snacks and beverages.


Flower power

Taking the trends of edible flowers and molecular mixology to the next level, Wild Hibiscus Flower Co. introduced a line of all-natural floral extracts for use in cocktails. Available in Rose + Hibiscus, Hibiscus Flower and b’Lure varieties, the concentrates have the ability to impart a subtle sweetness and color to cocktails, the company says. For instance, Rose + Hibiscus blends Bulgarian rose oil with hibiscus juice and can turn a clear liquid pink; Hibiscus Flower infuses hibiscus juice with dried hibiscus flowers, resulting in a bright red color and berry flavor; and b’Lure is made from the blue butterfly pea flower and features color-changing properties. When b’Lure interacts with acidity in a beverage, the liquid changes from blue to purple to pink, the company explains.