- Diageo and Budweiser are each launching campaigns around the idea of drinking in moderation, according to company announcements, with the efforts arriving during what could be a particularly festive holiday season following last year's, which was spent in lockdown for many.
- Diageo's "Know When to Stop" campaign kicks off today (Nov. 18) with a social push of digital animations by artist Cari Vander Yacht depicting the negative consequences of common holiday indulgences such as over-eating sweets and over-decorating. The effort is inspired by results from a survey that Diageo conducted, which found that nearly one in four (22%) of Americans report they didn't get to celebrate the holidays the way they wanted to in 2020 and plan on making up for it this year.
- For Budweiser's part, the brewer is hosting "Zero Hour" on Thanksgiving eve (Nov. 24) in which consumers at participating bars who try a complimentary nonalcoholic Budweiser Zero will receive a $25 Uber voucher for a safe ride home, per details shared with Marketing Dive. The effort will be from from midnight to 1 a.m., and will also allow consumers to earn the voucher by pledging on social media to drink responsibly.
While holiday moderation campaigns are nothing new, this year's arrive with the likely return of social and family gatherings, and a possible desire to compensate for what was lost last year due to the pandemic. A large swath of U.S. consumers are hoping to make up for 2020's subdued holidays, with 81% this year planning to do at least one thing in excess of what they normally do, per Diageo's "Know When to Stop" survey. Given that drinking is already a holiday indulgence, Diageo and Budweiser are leveraging this year's celebrations to promote their stances on moderation.
Diageo's campaign, created by agency Confidant, seeks to encourage responsible drinking on social media, playfully depicting through digital animations the downsides to overindulgence, such as a person watching so many holiday movies that their eyes water and their plant dies. The accompanying survey results — conducted by Diageo and Kelton Global in October — help to provide a data-supported backbone to the campaign.
"Know When to Stop" builds on Diageo's Society 2030 initiative, which in part aims to reach 1 billion people with a dedicated message of moderation by 2030. The campaign is designed to draw attention to DrinkIQ, Diageo's resource on alcohol education and moderation — a move that could push the effort past claims of performative activism.
As for Budweiser, "Zero Hour" is a Thanksgiving effort, but is strategically oriented around an hour in the night that will likely see many reunited groups of people drinking in celebration of the holiday. By pairing a promotion of its nonalcoholic product with an Uber voucher that may actually help to curb reckless driving, the brewer could also demonstrate to consumers a more authentic commitment to moderation. The offering will be available in 30 cities across the country.
Budweiser's partnership with a driving app to encourage safe transportation is reminiscent of other purpose-driven beer campaigns, including Budweiser Canada's tie-up with Uber for last year's Super Bowl and Heineken's activation of Waze ads in May. The giveaway also allows for pledges on social media, which could drive more attention online to the brewer's cause.
Marketers are dealing with a slate of obstacles this holiday season, including supply chain disruptions and significant differences in consumer sentiment, which is why experts are calling for brands to focus their messaging on positivity in order to appeal to as many people as possible. Diageo and Budweiser's efforts are consistent with this approach, and reflect how trends like hopeful messaging that were big in last year's holiday marketing are likely to stick around this year.