- Busch Beer is running a winter promotion to discount its beverages via a rebate based on the number of inches of snowfall in select cities, the company revealed in a press release shared with Marketing Dive.
- Through March 21, the Anheuser-Busch brand will track the weather in seven cities in the Midwest and will take $1 off a case per inch of snow that falls in the cities, which include Des Moines, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, Fargo, Omaha, Buffalo and Green Bay. The company is keeping score of the snowfall and discounts on interactive billboards in each of the locations.
- The company created a microsite to track the snowfall and give people information on how to cash in the rebate. Fans can receive up to a $30.00 rebate in the form of an Anheuser-Busch branded prepaid Mastercard or digital card. Busch will deliver discounts at the end of the winter season.
Busch's weather-driven promotion aims to drum up business in January, a period after the holidays when many people choose to drink less alcohol and some even abstain completely by participating in the increasingly popular "Dry January."
By tying the promotion to the weather, the beer seller is having fun with cold snaps and giving fans a playful way to enjoy frigid temperatures in a region know for brutal winters. Offering rebates on future beer purchases gives people an incentive to embrace the snowfall and could encourage future purchases through the distribution of branded Mastercards.
The company also has the potential to increase its Twitter followers in the regions, as people may follow the brand to keep aware of how many inches of snow has fallen and how that translate into a discount. Brands that can create a story around something larger than the product can attract consumers who keep track of weather and other natural phenomenon.
Alaska Airlines is running a similar promotion tying airfare discounts to the expected intensity of the northern lights. The airline is cutting fares to Alaskan cities by as much as 35% for a limited time to help drive ticket sales in the slower January period. The company used the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute's forecast for the aurora borealis, and dropped prices based on the outcomes. Alaska Airlines hosted a similar effort last year based on surf reports in Hawaii.
Last summer, Busch created a "Pop Up Schop," a temporary location hidden in a national forest open for one day. People that located the shop could win a lifetime supply of free beer. The playful effort aimed to connect to outdoorsy consumers who enjoy drinking beer on their treks.