Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mike's Hard Lemonade

Bad news Mike, your product has been trying to jump the same hurdle for years. May I suggest a different race? Mike’s Hard Lemonade ads are all using humor differently, but are really trying to achieve the same end for the product. In an effort to broaden their existing audience of underage girls, they clearly want to make a charge at the beer drinker. Their latest campaign depicts a dimwitted worker and his harsh superior talking about different ways to improve the company. Very reminiscent of the movie Tommy Boy featuring Chris Farley and not a bad idea, but it just seems that there is a barrier between hard lemonade and the traditional drinking crowd. That barrier being that the mere purchase of this product results in lose of man points to the consumer. I’m going to play horseshoes (I live below the Mason-Dixon line) this weekend and this is probably how the conversation would go if I brought a six pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade:

Me: Yo, what’s up? Lets pitch some steel!

Dude #1: Hey glad you could make it. Just go put your drinks inside and we’ll get it started. By the way did you catch The Young and the Restless this week?

Me: Uhhh, what?

Dude #2: You heard the man, go put your appletinis in the kitchen and come back when you are ready to work on a car or wrestle a bear.

Attacks on my manhood would probably continue until I drank an entire fifth of gut rot whiskey and I would still be prone to insults after I got my stomach pumped. My point is that Mike has been knocking on the same door for years in an attempt to position hard lemonades and teas as a manly alternative (malternative) to beer. I’m not a big fan of beer myself, but since I’ve been of legal age, I’ve never seen a man purchase Mike’s for himself. When I go into the grocery store to buy beer I have a plethora of options and if I’m not in the mood for the taste of beer Mike’s still has to compete with hard ciders, fruit-flavored beer and wine (that’s right ladies I’m a man of class).

I would love to suggest that they market their product to the girls in high school, but my research shows that is illegal. So until we kick out those lousy democrats in Congress it would be nice to see Mike’s switch up their message. I understand that the male drinkers from ages 21-death is a very lucrative market, but maybe creating a new audience would be a better fit for this unique product. Women seem to make the jump from beer to wine rather quickly, but there are situations where a hard lemonade or tea may be more practical than dealing with a big bottle/box of wine. Note: If you are the type of woman that would drink from a full bottle of wine at a baseball game, cookout or any other daytime social activity, my contact information can be found on the right side of this page. If Mike’s is hesitant to market to women drinkers full-on in fear of forever positioning their beverages as sissy drinks then maybe going after men and women who drink socially would be a better avenue. They could attack the stigma of “girly drinks” head on, which could result in some really funny creative executions while changing the perception of these beverages.

Or just keep pushing the “hard” angle…how about instead of money; pay MMA fighters in Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Champion Creative Brief

The Assignment: Write a creative brief for the challenger brand Champion. I love working with brands that are trying to topple a clear number one (Nike). Without big name pro or college contracts nor celebrity endorsers Champion is at a clear disadvantage. However, diversity in sports breeds diversity in athletes. Champion shares a common characteristic with athletes and sports that don't get the attention they deserve. Champion has worked hard for decades to continually advance sportswear (They invented the hooded sweatshirt, which may be the most important invention of the 20th century...according to the guy who has owned the same sweatshirt for two years and looking to make it three.) Sports like wrestling, weight lifting, lacrosse, field hockey and women's basketball also have rich histories, but relatively little fanfare. Sounds like a certain sportswear brand I know.

Click the images to enlarge.