- As part of its "Moments Worth Making" holiday campaign this year, Stella Artois, an Anheuser-Busch InBev brand, will run a series of real-world activations that encourage Americans to share a beer with their unmet neighbors, according to a press release.
- The effort, which will expand to neighborhoods in 27 cities, includes a docufilm by director Tatia Plieva that features six pairs of Manhattan and Brooklyn neighbors meeting each other for the first time and starting a conversation. To encourage further neighborly interaction, Stella Artois will give away 500 Stella Together Holiday Sweater Packs through its web site. The packs hold two beers (not included) that are wrapped in a tiny red knit button-down sweater, plus a two-piece bottle opener that requires both parts coming together to work.
- The Packs can also be won by those who share a photo of themselves with their neighbors on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #StellaNeighbors and #Contest. One grand prize winner will get a month's supply of Stella Artois.
Stella Artois joins a growing list of marketers that are emphasizing unity for the holidays this year. The effort spotlighting how many people who live close together are often alienated from each other comes as social and political tensions continue to be fraught in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential race.
Stella Artois' bid at better connecting neighbors suggests something as simple as sharing a beer can improve society, and the marketer included a novelty stocking-stuffer item with the sweater pack that adds a more light-hearted element to the campaign.
Data backs up that a lack of familiarity with neighbors is a prevalent phenomenon in the U.S. Thirty-one percent of surveyed Americans do not know their neighbors, according to Pew research cited by Stella Artois, and that figure drops to 21% for respondents under the age of thirty. The campaign could be an effort by Stella Artois to court more closed off consumer groups like millennials and Gen Zers, who have steered away from big beer in recent years in favor of alternatives like spirits and hard seltzer.
The Stella Artois campaign echoes one run by Heineken two years ago that was similarly marketed as a social experiment. For "Worlds Apart," the rival brewer brought together pairs of people from different walks of life, such as a progressive and a climate change skeptic, to connect and lay aside their differences while sharing a beer. The campaign was decorated by the marketing industry as a standout example of timely, socially conscious advertising.
But an uptick in civility-minded efforts has become particularly apparent in the past few months, with marketers across a number of categories championing the cause. Oreo earlier this week debuted its largest holiday campaign to date with the creative theme of connecting people, which parent company Mondelez has made part of its broader brand mission. Earlier this month, youth retailer Aéropostale launched an Aero Oneness" platform that celebrates differences and coming together. For its first consumer ad campaign ever, the review platform Trustpilot also tried to combat societal divisiveness with a spotlight on diversity.
While these pitches for unity might appeal across all age groups, they could resonate especially strongly with Gen Z, a group that a recent report by McKinsey described as "radically inclusive."
Novelty holiday items sold or given away online, like Stella Artois' sweater packs, also continue to be favored by marketers. This week, Oscar Mayer debuted a "BAEcon" Blanket targeted at singles looking for a date during cuffing season, and beer brand Busch started selling a five-foot long stocking that doubles as a cooler for beer via its e-commerce store.