Category: Case Studies
August 01, 2023 / Miles Marmo
Spirits by Oskar Blues | CANarchy
Oskar Blues is one of the nation’s largest craft brewers and leads the “in a can” movement with best-selling products like Dale’s Pale Ale. While the craft beer segment continues to experience steady growth, Oskar Blues had identified spirits as its next business opportunity.
As a craft brewery brand, Oskar Blues is known for its industry irreverence. They wanted to expand their brand and audience by creating a spirit brand with unique products and brand voice. Their launch flavor was a 7.3% ABV Moscow mule made with real vodka and ginger beer. “Moskow Mule” is produced on site at Oskar Blues and sells at $12.99 a 4-pack.
Although highly successful in the craft beer industry, Oskar Blues had no prior spirits experience. They wanted help creating a strong consumer brand, voice, and expression in the ready-to-drink spirits category to attract spirits distributors and retailers for a strong product launch.
First, we named their spirits company “Spirits by Oskar Blues” or SOB (with an obvious nod to their company ethos of irreverence). They launched this endeavor with their canned Moskow Mule. The brand expression – from can design to sales material through consumer in-store experience – had to clearly communicate the product attributes and do it with the brand’s trademark impertinence.
When it came to packaging, it was key to differentiate the Moskow Mule brand from the Oskar Blues’ craft beer family, so consumers didn’t mistake it for being another malt product. The SOB brand stands clearly on its own while also being connected to the parent Oskar Blues brand with the goal to have loyalists see the spirits brand as an add-on purchase.
The SOB launched with a “poke the bear” digital campaign –using humor to make fun of the big beer industry’s overused category marketing buzzwords – “clean. crisp. refreshing.” Employees took part in creating six videos ads to bring awareness to SOB and showcase their culture. Scripts were written to make Oskar Blues employees uncomfortable while reading marketing buzzwords which were foreign to their culture. Employee outtakes were used to create six ads which capture authentic, genuine reactions to the new brand.
A website with product locator, videos, events, and social engagement was designed and developed as mobile-first to engage consumers on the go/at retail with enough entertainment value to keep them engaged to help in SEO.
Upon launch, 1,000 unique users visited the website within the first two weeks of launch with an average of two pages visited and over a minute of engagement in content. The videos launched in Colorado and brought brand awareness to over 145k views. A social media campaign was created to engage users by rewarding them for taking photos in the wilderness with SOB’s new product. The implementation of all these assets has helped SOB sell 350 cases a week with production expanding to other states in the coming months.This brand opened distribution for CANarchy for further product innovation like Wild Basin to come through and expand the product offering through Oskar Blues.