By Clare Goggin Sivits On July 27, 2023

The Best Beverage Marketing Campaigns of 2023, So Far

In an excellent example of alcohol marketing, Westward Whiskey (shown in the background) partners with Smith Teamaker on a whiskey barrel-aged tea, shown in the foreground in a canister and being poured into a glass.

A successful alcohol marketing campaign drives customers to buy a bottle. It connects consumers with an incentive or a reason to buy. But one of the most effective ways to achieve that is to surprise and delight an audience – and you know we love to be surprised and delighted!

This year, we’ve seen several alcohol brands attempt to hit the mark when it comes to that surprise and delight element. Some succeeded while others fell flat. The ones who impressed us approached the marketing campaign in a variety of creative and interesting ways.

As we take a closer look at our favorite alcohol marketing campaigns so far this year, we notice that each brand fully understands its personality, values and audience. It’s an important foundation that any brand needs in order to create advertising that will appeal directly to the right group of consumers.

Here are six of our top alcohol marketing campaigns for 2023 so far.

Best Craft Beverage Collaboration: Smith Tea + Westward Whiskey

We get the appeal of a cuppa. It’s warm and cozy and keeps you moving. The only thing that could possibly boost that experience: a drop of fine-crafted whiskey. That’s why the collaboration between two of Portland, Oregon’s favorites – Smith Tea and Westward Whiskey – makes so much sense and we’re loving it.

When developing a relationship with a partner, it’s important to choose a brand that aligns well with yours – and shares a similar audience. A well-established Portland-based tea maker naturally complements a well-established Portland-based whiskey maker. And we’re pretty thrilled to see our neighbors getting along too.

Aging tea in whiskey barrels is such an exciting twist on the barrel-aging process. We can’t wait to pour ourselves a hot cup and follow two fingers of Westward Whiskey.

Best Themed Beverage Release: Athletic Brewing Co.’s Witcher Beer

The latest sci-fi series premiere gets a lot of attention. Aligning a product with it is sure to grab you a bit of that adulation. Athletic Brewing understands the benefits of such a campaign. The brewery’s Witcher-themed brew, Geralt’s Gold appeals not only to its loyal fanbase but also to the fans of the show who might be drawn to the thematic design and recipe.

Beyond just a themed beer, Athletic actually teamed up with Netflix’s show directly. Using that resource, the brewery was able to develop a beer that’s true to the story and fits in well with the Witcher universe and mythology. It shows loyal watchers that the product fits perfectly into their fandom.

As a Helles-inspired non-alcoholic beverage, Geralt’s Gold is a guilt-free drink that pairs well with Netflixing. And probably whatever goes along with that too.

Best One-Off Package Design: Union Wine’s Rose Cans + Bottles

Beautiful packaging design never fails to thrill us! And we’re all about mixing things up with fresh artwork whenever the opportunity arises. So Union Wine’s choice to feature artist Lisa Congdon’s work on their Rose cans and bottles to celebrate Pride makes us so very happy.

Through this campaign, not only does the wine brand support the LGBTQ+ community, it also appeals to art lovers of all walks of life. Oh, and wine lovers are probably pretty excited about a delicious Rose by a talented winemaker.

We’re ready to pop open a can and walk in a parade to celebrate how love is love.

Best Variety Pack Release: Spindrift Sparkling Iced Tea

Recognizing what your fans love and delivering it – that’s what brands should do more of! Spindrift, a tasty sparkling water that has a surprising gift for TikTok, achieved that goal already this year by acknowledging how much drinkers enjoyed the brand’s Half & Half flavor and building a whole line around that.

To discover what fans are really craving, a brand can obviously check on sales numbers but having a stellar community management strategy also helps. Spindrift keeps the conversation with its fans open across all of its social channels. That kind of proactive communication allows a brand to identify those key trends and act on them.

Honestly, if the trend is half & half-related, we say always act on it! Now let’s see if we can spike these cans with a little vodka.

Best Social Media Design: Lolo Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Hops Collage Series

Creative social media graphics are rare. Lolo’s collage series, which features artists who build designs around their packaging, stands out in the newsfeed noise and we are loving them. It’s so refreshing to see graphics on an Instagram grid that feel genuine and incorporate unique styles. In fact, these pieces almost feel like multi-media projects you’d see in a museum.

The brand, which launched a hops-infused sparkling water a year ago, manages to blend creativity with product in a way that’s not commercialized and over-produced. Not to mention, the beverage is refreshing and lovely so it deserves a beautiful aesthetic on the outside as well.

We’ll raise our hoppy sparkling water to gorgeous artwork on the web any day of the week.

Best Creative Use of AI: Perfy Superfood Soda’s Fantastical Content

Perfy builds fantastical worlds and scenarios around a beverage — and it’s fire. We want to jump into the Perfy amusement park and curl up on the couch to watch the Perfy Pixar film. The more we look at these, the more we suspect it’s AI-generated but however they do it, paint us impressed.

It’s really no surprise that the brains behind a superfood soda came up with these incredible pieces of artwork. It draws attention in a positive way to its brand across social media with clickable carousels and eye-catching images.

To be honest, this campaign makes us want to retry our hand at AI. Maybe we should see what it could do to boost our visuals.

If you’re gearing up to launch a new product before the end of the year, we can help you find the best way to market it. Contact us and we’ll walk you through the process.

Clare Goggin Sivits

As a marketer with a strong writing background, Clare Goggin Sivits has worked in the beer, spirits, and wine industries for nearly a decade. She oversaw digital marketing for a small wine startup as well as a craft brewery and distillery with a nationwide footprint. A Florida ex-pat, Clare now lives in Portland, Oregon, and continues to write about craft beverage marketing and the industry as a whole.

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