- Keystone Light wants to win over young consumers of legal drinking age with a contest offering to pay the equivalent of a year's worth of rent, according to a blog post from parent company MillerCoors. The integrated campaign also includes point-of-sale advertising in retail locations, paid social media and custom video content.
- Through Sept. 29, consumers can purchase special Keystone Light packaging featuring a Snapcode, Snapchat's version of a QR code, that links to a web page where they can enter a special contest keyword. Submissions can also be made online through a portal on the MillerCoors website.
- Thirteen contest winners will receive a $12,000 check to help cover living expenses. Keystone Light will also award 150 runners-up prizes in the form of "Adulting Transition Packs," which include a branded inflatable chair, shower curtain, Hawaiian shirt and "candelier," a chandelier bearing beer cans in lieu of light bulbs.
Keystone Light is leaning into its category placement as a budget beer brand with a sweepstakes targeting 21- to 24-year-olds who are fresh out of school and on shaky financial footing. Through the contest and national advertising campaign, the label looks to combat a trend toward higher-priced craft beer offerings, which the blog post nods to getting "more ink" in the media in recent years.
A continued interest in craft alternatives to big beer, along with taste shifts toward beverages like spiked seltzer and spirits, have contributed to a slide in sales for core brands at giants like MillerCoors and rival AB InBev. Millennials and older Gen Zers, who are the center of the Keystone Light push, have driven these disruptions, but could be interested in the offer for free rent given their general lack of disposable income.
"These consumers are craving financial stability, and we know from our research that housing expenses create a strain, eating up a large portion of their income," Eric Wolfe, an associate brand manager for MillerCoors economy brands, said in a statement included in the blog post.
Many millennials and older Gen Zers came of age during the financial crisis, the repercussions of which continue to be felt today. Nearly two-thirds of millennials recently surveyed by Charles Schwab claim they live paycheck to paycheck, with just 38% reporting they feel financially stable, according to CNBC.
More brands are running campaigns to ostensibly alleviate these pressures, but personal financial struggles can be tricky territory for big businesses to wade into.
Burger King earlier this year launched an effort intended to help consumers pay off their student loans. The brand worked with the fin tech company Earnest on the Whopper Loans program, which was facilitated through the chain's mobile app and mail-in entries. The Whopper maker faced criticism for not approaching a pressing national issue with the proper seriousness the situation demands, along with its choice of partners in Earnest, which is owned by Navient.
"The irony of Burger King partnering with a fin-tech company whose parent company is Navient, a student loan company that has gained off of this crisis, is too strong to ignore," Melissa Kimble, the founder of the #blkcreatives initiative, wrote in a Adweek editorial in June.
Keystone Light's rent-free program leans into light-heartedness, in the social media videos and Adulting Transition Packs, but acknowledges that many young people are anxious in lacking the funds to make an easy transition into adulthood. Other low-priced beer brands have adopted a similar approach.
Natural Light, an economy line owned by MillerCoors' chief competitor AB InBev, has run several efforts around alleviating student debt. This year, it partnered with Square's Cash App to dispense mobile payments to cash-strapped football fans during the Super Bowl.