Beer and burgers

The King of Beers, Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser brand, is on a hunt for a tasty food partner, namely the King of Burgers. Budweiser is partnering with Chef David Chang to search the country for the Bud & Burgers Champion. Burger enthusiasts of legal drinking age can submit a photo or video on to showcase their burgers and explain why they should be the 2015 Bud & Burgers Champion. Semi-finalists will compete head to head at 10 nationwide Bud & Burgers Championships, with the finale event taking place July 11 at the Budweiser Brewery in St. Louis. The creator of the winning burger will receive $100,000 to support their culinary ambitions and be invited to compete in a new cooking competition series, currently titled “United States of Burgers,” which will premiere on the Esquire Network.


A new marketing dimension  

Although most beverage advertisements target consumers with visual and audible messages, The Coca-Cola Co.’s Coca-Cola Zero brand took its NCAA Men’s Final Four marketing to a new dimension: taste. The brand built a 23,000-pound, 26-by-36-foot drinkable billboard at the March Madness Music Festival in Indianapolis during Final Four weekend. To put that in a sports perspective, this means that the billboard is about the same height as two-and-a-half basketball hoops or three power forwards, the company says. The billboard appears to dispense Coca-Cola Zero from a massive contour bottle through 4,500 feet of straw tubing that spells out “Taste It” before carrying the soft drink to a free sampling station on the ground. In addition to the tasting station, the brand also expanded its drinkable advertising into broadcast, print, retail and out-of-home promotions during NCAA Men’s Final Four weekend in support of the brand’s status as the Official Fan Refreshment of the NCAA.


Keeping consumption on track  

Most consumers are aware of the blanket eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day consumption recommendation, but many consumers fall short of that requirement, according to experts. To help consumers remember to drink their water in order to absorb its health benefits, Vancouver, British Columbia-based iTomo launched a same-named smart cup on Kickstarter. The iTomo-Cup uses an LED indicator and a beeping noise to remind the consumer to drink water regularly by beeping every hour that the cup is left untouched. As a reward for drinking the water, the cup lights up in one of five colors when touched. In addition, the cup also can function as a thermometer, indicating the water’s temperature when it is 104 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Drinking six glasses of water from the iTomo-Cup each day can help consumers meet the recommended daily intake, the company says.


Mio on tour

This summer, Mio is quenching fans’ thirsts for both beverages and music. The liquid concentrate brand is launching the Mio Music Festival Tour, which will give fans free product samples at water stations at the biggest music festivals across the country. In addition, Mio also is giving fans the opportunity to participate in the Mio Music Festival Tour instant-win game. Fans can enter for the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to one of four stops on the tour. In addition to the grand prize, Mio also will give away more than 1,000 other prizes. The Mio Music Festival Tour kicked off in April at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., and continues through the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience, Oct. 30-Nov. 1.


Putting the pedal to the metal

Maxwell House is moving into the fast lane this year as the primary racing sponsor of Michael Waltrip Racing for five Sprint Cup races during the 2015 season and the Daytona 500 in February 2016. The 10-month agreement officially starts Aug. 2 with the Pennsylvania 400 at the Pocono Raceway. Bowyer will drive the No. 15 Maxwell House Toyota at Watkins Glen International, Pocono Raceway, Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in the second half of the 2015 season. Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion, also will carry the Maxwell House colors at Talladega Superspeedway in October and in the 2016 Daytona 500. Other elements of the sponsorship will include special appearances by the Michael Waltrip Racing team, exclusive behind-the-scenes access for select fans, special in-season and grocery store promotions, and sampling at select races.


Creating the can

PepsiCo put the creative control into the hands of its fans. As part of the 2015 #PepsiChallenge, the brand gave consumers the opportunity to re-envision its can with their own special designs and creative flair in the “Live For Now” design challenge, which was led by fashion designer and creative director Nicola Formichetti. The “Live for Now” Design Challenge kicked off with a design concept from Formichetti that featured his Nicopanda emblem, which served as inspiration showcasing where consumers could go with their own submissions. Submissions were accepted through May 13, and the winner will be offered a once-in-a-lifetime design experience at the PepsiCo Design & Innovation Center in New York City working alongside PepsiCo’s industry-leading design team.


A perfect match

Bud Light is teaming up with Tinder to launch the mobile app’s first-ever native video profile card, which gives consumers of legal drinking age the unexpected opportunity to match with America’s most spontaneous town, Whatever, USA, and win the chance to experience the weekend of a lifetime. After a few swipes on the app, Bud Light’s video unit will launch and show Tinder users why Whatever, USA, is the perfect match. Users then will be redirected to a custom co-branded page where they can show how they are ready to bring their #UpForWhatever attitude to Whatever, USA, to win a trip to Catalina Island, Calif.


Choppers for charity

Inca Kola partnered with Orange County Choppers (OCC), Resurrection Fighting Alliance (RFA) and AXS TV to launch a major charity promotion to raise funds for Easter Seals New York’s Veterans Count program. Consumers can visit to purchase entries into a sweepstakes to win a custom-built chopper from OCC. Proceeds from the raffle are being donated to the charity. Starting in June, RFA will display the custom chopper at each of its venues, and AXS TV will donate promotional spots leading up to its live RFA broadcasts, which started this month, directing viewers to the dedicated website. The winner will be announced live during AXS TV’s slated December RFA event.


Just sit back and relax

Baderbräu Brewing Co. is helping its fans to sit back and relax this summer. In celebration of its spring varietal Lawnmower Lager, the craft brewer launched its Lawnmower Lager contest, which ended May 4. Consumers could enter the contest by snapping a photo of themselves with a Baderbräu Lawnmower Lager and submitting the photo on the company’s website or Facebook page. One winner received an entire summer of free lawn mowing.