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May 26 , 2009

Facebook fans in driver's seat for beer launch
Brand dedication key to new Labatt campaign

Dedicated Bud Light Lime drinkers became dedicated Facebook fans, using the social networking site to petition Labatt to bring the beer north of the border. Thanks to the thousands of people who joined the Bud Light Lime fan pages on Facebook, the beer, once exclusive to the U.S., will be available on Canadian shelves this summer.

The fan sites also resulted in hundreds of letters and phone calls to the brewery from people who had tried the beer in the U.S. and wanted to be able to enjoy it at home.

“There were five Facebook Groups set up with about 1,400 members in each group,” says Matt Ramella, Manager of Media and Digital Marketing for Labatt. “And when we made the decision to bring Bud Light Lime to Canada, we reached out to the people in those groups to let them know it was coming.”

Contest rewards fan dedication

Before beginning any advertising, Labatt contacted the administrators of all five groups and offered them ‘fun kits’ full of Bud Light Lime promotional items as a way of recognizing their efforts to bring the beer to Canada.

Then, using the built-in momentum of the petitions, Labatt launched their own Facebook page in both French and English to promote a new contest aimed at rewarding fans for their dedication to the brand. The contest gives fans the chance to host the ultimate Bud Light Lime launch party in their home town. To enter, fans have to set up a party group on the Bud Light Lime Facebook page and get at least 300 people to add their names to the guest list.

In the few days since its launch, the Bud Light Lime Facebook page already has over 11,000 fans.

“It’s very viral,” says Dave Nicholls, Marketing Manager, Bud Light Lime. “It’s been extremely important for us to use the digital space to not only engage consumers but to listen to them. It has to be a two-way communication for social media to work.”

Street Team' drives traffic to YouTube channel

The brewery will launch their paid-for-performance media, including drops to media, this week. The Bud Light Lime Street Team also hit the road across five major markets, distributing over 40,000 limes stamped with an address driving users to the beer’s YouTube channel.

“The first day the Street Team was out our YouTube channel logged 1,200 visits and to date we’ve had over 5,700 channel views,” says Nicholls, who also adds that the Bud Light Lime channel is now the number one most viewed sponsored channel on YouTube.

“We’re trying things in all elements,” he says, “with a layer of interaction every step of the way.”

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