- Busch Beer today will premiere a weekly livestreamed trivia game show on Facebook to raise money for bartenders facing financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. The Anheuser-Busch brand's "Trivia Happy Hour" will first run at 5 p.m. CT on Busch's Facebook page, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The trivia show, which is hosted by the brand's Busch Guy spokesman, will give people a chance to win prizes and donate to the U.S. Bartenders Guild. Busch is donating $50,000 to the organization, which set up a COVID-19 taskforce to help bartenders, and will match donations up to an additional $50,000.
- Each week, Busch plans to offer a variety of prizes including branded swag, tickets to NASCAR races, a fridge full of Busch and a flat-screen TV. For two hours before the trivia games stream, Busch will offer discount codes for Drizly, the delivery service for alcoholic beverages, per its announcement.
Trivia nights have been a popular way for bars to bring in patrons and urge them to socialize, but the coronavirus pandemic has led authorities to close bars and restaurants to suppress the outbreak. Busch Beer's "Trivia Happy Hour" on Facebook Live aims to bring the conviviality of bar trivia contests to social media while also supporting a good cause. As people turn to social networks to stay connected with the outside world, Busch can participate in those conversations among its most dedicated customers and provide entertainment for people who are coping with the stress of the pandemic. By offering to support bartenders who are out of work during the pandemic, the brand also is striking a more serious tone that recognizes their hardship. That cause-driven approach can help to appeal to a target consumer group of younger adults who are most likely to use social media and want brands to stand for a social cause.
Beer brands like Busch, which typically want consumers to associate their products with good times and fun gatherings, have had to change the tone of their marketing efforts during a stressful time for many people. Rival beer maker Coors, for example, had planned an "Official Beer of 'Working' Remotely" spot earlier this month, but paused the launch as more companies insisted their employees work from home. Irish beer maker Guinness, which typically runs massive promotions for St. Patrick's Day, donated $500,000 to charity and ran an inspirational ad as many communities canceled parades and other public events around the occasion. Mexican beer brand Corona, whose name became the subject of debate about whether consumers confused it with the coronavirus, a month ago opted to continue running a campaign for its hard seltzer launch.
Busch has made social media a key part of recent promotions and contests to reach younger audiences who are more difficult to reach through traditional media, while cultivating deeper connections with their most ardent customers. The brand in November ran a sweepstakes on Twitter targeting NASCAR fans around a chance to win free beer for a year by tweeting about Kevin Harvick, the driver of the Busch-sponsored stock car. In July, Busch challenged followers to a scavenger hunt, offering clues on Twitter that pointed its followers to a hidden store in a national forest. That scavenger hunt followed a similar challenge on social media, indicating that the campaigns have been successful for Busch.
Other beer brands also have run social media campaigns in the past year. Natural Light in October hosted a Halloween costume contest that offered cash rewards to Twitter or Instagram users who shared pictures of their "real-life nightmare" costumes. Rival Miller Lite ran a contrary campaign that urged fans to unfollow its brand on social media, an effort that Natural Light supported as the brands vie for market share amid a broader decline in beer sales.