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Case Nine: Keystone Light/MillerCoors: “Canhole”
Lead Agency: Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide
Summer is the season for beer: Billions of dollars are up for grabs; the competition for floor space, incremental displays, and “customer activation” is intense and hotly contested.
The big dogs rule: Miller Lite, Coors Light, Bud Light, Budweiser, and Corona rule the summer months, which makes it difficult for smaller, below-premium brands such as Keystone Light to get any attention from distributors or retailers. Typically, Keystone Light can only place statics stickers on in-store coolers to plead its case to shoppers.
Pricing challenges made it more difficult: Beer companies, including MillerCoors, have raised the price of the below-premium segment (closing the price gap) in an effort to get drinkers to trade up to the pricier premium brands—which is the companies’ priority and vital to overall performance. However, this pricing strategy couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Keystone Light. Its target consumers were being hit hard by the sagging economy and were looking for even more value while still trying to get out and have some summer fun with their buddies.
The overall challenge: In the sea of big-name brands during the summer, how does the company give a smaller, below-premium beer a reason to be featured at retail?
- 1. Stave off decline of the Keystone Light business in the convenience store channel by stealing share, volume, and display opportunities from the company’s key competitor: Anheuser-Busch’s below-premium powerhouse, Natural Light.
- 2. Increase overall Keystone Light brand engagement to help establish a purpose and personality for Keystone Light’s new brand character (Keith Stone), in order to increase interaction, acceptance, and sharing by consumers.
The company’s target was a simple guy with simple needs, which was named “The Cruiser.” He doesn’t have a lot of money, so he’s learned to be resourceful and inventive with things he has on hand in order to have a good time.
For him, a great meal is a frozen burrito, a bag of Doritos, and a warm hot dog right off the roller. He enjoys the occasional fart joke and ribbing his buddy because his sister can kick his butt at Halo (with one hand tied behind her back). He’s comfortable with who he is and values friendship over all else. He has also built a fair number of beer pyramids in his day.
Once the company understood the Cruiser and how he behaves, it needed to know what he does during the summer. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research, the company discovered that the Cruiser’s summer is all about “Bro-ments.” He gets together with more friends, more often, during the summer. The Cruiser values impromptu, memorable experiences that are the outcome of ingenuity and inventive social occasions. In other words, he likes spending time with his buddies, telling jokes, and not acting his age—all while drinking beer. This is basic male bonding stuff termed “Bro-ments.”
The Big Idea
Bro-ments in a Box
In order to give the Cruiser an incentive that appealed to his fun-loving ingenuity and inventiveness, every time he bought a pack of Keystone Light, he got a completely self-contained Cornhole game. The Cruiser had to punch out the perforated hole designed into the box and use his crushed empty cans of Keystone Light as “bags” during hours of summer party and sport Broments with his buddies. The company named this fun activity “CANHOLE.” How would this promotion help achieve any of the company’s objectives?
How can Cruisers use Canhole to connect with others on the Internet and social networks? How can the company encourage the Cruisers to do so? How does Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs applicable to this situation?
Apply the concept of product involvement to the Canhole promotion and the second objective.
Suggest “cross merchandising” opportunities for Canhole. That is, getting marketers of products that Cruisers might consume during Canhole games to participate in the promotion. Explain your choices.
List and discuss three likely personality traits of the Cruiser.
Develop a psychographic profile of the Cruiser.
Looking at the PRIZM groups’ descriptions online, select three segments that are likely to include a large number of Cruisers. Explain your choices.
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