- Beer brand Stella Artois this month introduced a set of customized digital stickers from messaging tech company Holler that people can share in their Venmo payments with friends. The stickers give Venmo users a way to support the James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit that helps chefs and people in the culinary industry, Holler said in a blog post.
- To publicize the giving campaign, participating restaurants will display signs with a QR code that Venmo users can scan to open the PayPal-owned app. Venmo users will see the collection of animated stickers after typing "STELLA" in the payment description, some of which have festive messages like "Happy Thanksgiving!" and "A Toast to Us!"
- Stella Artois will donate $5 to the James Beard Foundation every time a consumer in California, Arizona or Nevada uses a custom sticker from Nov. 13-27 on Venmo. The beer brand marketed by Anheuser-Busch InBev, will make one donation per customer for a total gift of $15,000 to the charity, which currently is running its #OpenForGood campaign to support ailing restaurants.
Stella Artois' animated stickers from Holler helps to extend its branding efforts among Venmo users while raising money for a good cause. Branded content like animated stickers and GIFs can be effective in boosting awareness when it's engaging and urges social sharing, especially among young adults who use apps for payments and to stay in touch. With more people making contactless payments, Venmo experienced a 61% surge to $44 billion in total payment volume in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to a Nov. 2 report.
The beer brand's introduction of stickers for Venmo users to share in their payment notes follows other marketers that have used a similar strategy to extend their branding into various kinds of messaging. Venmo automatically suggests animated stickers when users request or make payments to friends, and this year featured branded collections from Ikea and Subway that Holler had developed. At the time, Holler said 90% of the transactions that people share on Venmo feature an animated sticker, creating sponsorship opportunities for brands.
Stella Artois is giving Venmo users an incentive to use the stickers with its pledge to donate money to the James Beard Foundation, whose recent efforts include support for independent restaurants facing financial difficulties during the pandemic. With many people avoiding restaurants, and strict limitations on some dining-room capacities, eateries face significant challenges. Among the more than 32,000 restaurants that have closed since the onset of the health crisis, 61% are considered permanent shutdowns, according to Yelp.
Stella Artois has been active with digital campaigns this year, including a social video series starring talk-show host Andy Cohen on its YouTube channel that ran for a month over the summer. Before that, it streamed a weekly cooking show on Instagram IGTV in April to entertain and inform viewers while raising money for restaurants. The brand also rolled out a social media campaign and contest featuring a couple from Netflix reality show "Love Is Blind" that offered to pay for the wedding of a couple that got engaged while social distancing.
With people spending more time preparing meals or entertaining at home, Stella Artois saw a 12% yearly revenue gain outside its home country of Belgium with campaigns that urged people to savor in-home occasions, according to AB InBev's Q3 earnings report. The company's beer volumes in North America grew 1.5% during the period from a year earlier, while organic sales climbed 4.7% to $4.35 billion as the company shifted focus to retail sales channels.