In the Doghouse

In the Doghouse

Flavored? Glow-in-the-dark? A-B InBev.

November 9, 2015

general mills
In a desperate attempt to gain back young drinkers with tricks children enjoy, A-B InBev is going to dangerous lengths. A-B InBev hopes that its release of Oculto, a new tequila-infused citrus-flavored beer, will lure Millennials back to the A-B InBev stable and brands such as Bud Light.

With a campaign based on elaborate masks, whispered secrets, and mysterious club parties where new drinkers are indoctrinated into the brand, more brand ambassadors join the Oculto fold. Yes, it does sound like a dangerous cult or hazing ritual.

Like other alcohol brands hoping to appeal to youth and attract those who would otherwise reject beer, A-B InBev is focusing the majority of its Oculto marketing strategy on social media, e.g. Instagram. The label includes a glow-in-the-dark, Day-of-the-Dead-inspired skull that looks and acts like a children's decoration. While A-B InBev attempts to illuminate the Oculto brand label, the risk of harm to young people inside the bottle glows brightly.

At Chuck E. Cheese, Wholesome Family Fun means Alcohol

October 22, 2015

Chuck E. Cheese
Chuck E. Cheese has expanded its offerings from sugary drinks, pizza, and arcade games to alcohol. The chain has reported a decline in sales in recent years, and alcohol sales is its response. In offering more alcohol options, it hopes alcoholic drinks will entice Millennial moms to bring their young children to the kiddie restaurant more often, for more than the annual birthday party.

Like several other fast food chains, a number of Chuck E. Cheese locations have started serving beer and wine - the difference? Chuck E. Cheese is perhaps the chain with the strongest connection to the kid market ages 5-12. Of course, the chain says that its model must be approachable for kids.

The risk for alcohol-related harm increases immediately as adults have happy hour while their children run around the arcade. In addition, the children playing and eating at Chuck E. Cheese will see parents drinking inside a beloved children's entertainment brand, and associate that brand with alcohol use.

Doghouse: Four Loko Gold

September 24, 2015

general mills
In a prime example of alcopop producers' youth-focused social media promotion with intensive user engagement, Phusion Projects recently launched Four Loko Gold. The new mystery-flavored supersized alcopop was marketed solely on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) for for the first several months of its release.

At 14% ABV and 23.5 oz., Four Loko Gold contains 5.5 standard drinks in one single-serve container, the highest alcohol content of all Four Loko products.

Initially released in just a limited number of states, young drinkers flocked to social media sites in attempt to locate retailers selling the new product. In the meantime, Four Loko sponsored parties and contests for users to find out where the elusive Gold was served. To gain access to the location of the parties, users had to RSVP through social media channels.

Currently Phusion Projects is sponsoring Four Loko Lokoween 2015, a contest where users can enter via text message or Facebook app for a chance to win a three-day trip to the Voodoo music festival New Orleans over Halloween weekend.