- Stella Artois is hosting a cooking show on Instagram to entertain people stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic while also raising money for restaurants and bars. The Anheuser-Busch brand's "Stella Sessions@Home" will appear on Instagram's IGTV video streaming service Tuesdays through Fridays, per an announcement.
- On Tuesdays and Thursdays, actress Eva Longoria, chef Marcus Samuelsson and others will provide cooking classes and information on how to support local eateries during the crisis. Every Wednesday, chefs from the James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports the culinary arts, and members of The Infatuation foodie community will share tips on making restaurant food at home.
- On Fridays, celebrity stylist and X Karla founder Karla Welch will host a virtual happy hour with surprise guests from her brand account on Instagram Live. Stella Artois is supporting the James Beard Foundation and urges people to donate to Tables for Tomorrow, a movement by HelpMainStreet.com to support neighborhood bars and restaurants, per the announcement.
As a brand of premium beer, Stella Artois is taking an epicurean approach to a content marketing effort that aims to reach people who depend on social media apps like Instagram to connect with the outside world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its "Stella Sessions@Home" series will feature cooking tips to engage housebound viewers who are using their time to pursue hobbies and culinary interests, such as comfort food and homemade bread.
Beer sales jumped 18% to $2.9 billion at stores during a four-week period through March 22 as people stocked up their pantries to stay indoors, per data from market researcher IRI cited by Absolute Beer. The increase helped to reverse a longer-term trend of declining beer sales as younger adults tended to favor wine, spirits and the fast-growing category of hard seltzers. As consumers shift their beer purchases to stores, Stella Artois aims to be top of mind with its video series.
The beer brand also will urge people to support the restaurant and bar industry that is a key sales channel for Stella Artois. On-premise sales make up about 20% of total beer volume in the U.S., per data from market researcher Nielsen cited by Brewbound, and the loss of sales at restaurants and bars has affected brands like Stella Artois. As part of the effort, the brand is urging consumers to help industry workers who have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic. Restaurants last month represented 60% of total job losses in the U.S. as many state and local authorities ordered the closure of "non-essential" businesses, limiting restaurants to takeout and delivery services, Restaurant Business Online reported. By supporting a cause, Stella Artois can appeal to younger consumers who tend to favor brands that demonstrate a social purpose.
Stella Artois' "Stella Sessions@Home" series is another sign of how the brand has adopted campaigns for self-isolating consumers, contrary to typical beer advertising that highlights fun get-togethers. The brand last week rolled out a social media campaign and contest featuring a couple from Netflix reality show "Love Is Blind." Stella Artois offered to pay for the wedding of one couple that gets engaged while social distancing. The campaign included a livestreamed video on Instagram Live and a #WeddingContest challenge on Twitter.
Stella Artois is among the alcoholic beverage brands that have revamped their marketing to reflect the effects of the pandemic on consumer behavior. Michelob Ultra last week challenged Twitter users to share videos of their best indoor golfing trick shots to help raise money for COVID-19 relief. Hard seltzer brand Crook & Marker this month launched a social campaign to raise money for bartenders who face financial hardship, following a similar donation drive by Busch Beer, which started livestreaming a trivia game show on Facebook. Irish beer maker Guinness last month donated $500,000 to charity and ran an inspirational ad amid canceled parades and other public events around St. Patrick's Day.