We are in the final week of the year and are definitely starting to reach more for the drinks cart, so it seems as good a time as any to reflect on some of the best (and most innovative) booze campaigns for 2022.

As stats tell us, more than 86%  of the population will drink at some point in their lives, and so with a plethora of alcohol brands out there and competing for your attention, PR agencies and brands are needing to pull out all the stops to get consumers choosing their product.

On that note, we will jump into our round-up of the top 5 best booze campaigns of 2022 (these are not in any particular order of favourites).

1.     Bombay Sapphire – Behind The Canvas

Starting 2022 off strong is Bombay Sapphire’s unique take on an alcohol campaign. The brand decided they would utilise the growing interest in the NFT world and create the world’s largest NFT artwork, inspired by 15,000 people. The artwork was displayed through a digital art event on Instagram live, where creators had the ability to continue building the artwork while the event was running. The artwork had key blue colours that were consistently used throughout the artwork to align with Bombay Sapphire’s brand colours, and inside the artwork you could ‘enter the bottle’, which was an ethereal world where the creators could envision what the inside of the bottle would look like.

This campaign was particularly innovative through utilising the growth and interest in the NFT sector, and allowed them to expose their brand to consumers who typically wouldn’t see traditional advertising channels. This campaign really engaged the demographic most interested in the crypto and NFT market as we able to market directly to them in a way that would pique their interest, as well as that of their typical brand fans.

2 .  Ardbeg Single Malt Novel draws interest

Want to know how to differ from your competitors? Create a 40-page sci-fi novel inspired by the origin stories and flavours of your brand.

That’s what  Ardbeg Whisky successfully did. They partnered with three artists to create one of the first booze-focused sci-fi graphic novels, called Planet Ardbeg. This was such an out-of-the-box concept for an alcohol brand, as they decided to personify the flavours and locations where the brand derived from including  the Guardians of Oa’ by Sanford Greene. Which draws its influence from the rounded balance and smoky power of Ardbeg An Oa, is an action-packed epic about a copper city coming under attack from a monstrous creature. To the consumer, this created a unique bond and understanding of the brand, making the Ardbeg origin story interesting enough to engage the consumer in a highly visual way.

Once the novel was created, it was available to purchase their distillery in Islay, Scotland. Not only was this campaign great to build awareness and PR for the brand, but it will continue to serve them well into the future, with consumers able to take tours inside the distillery and continually be engaged by the novel for many years to come.

3.  The End of Patrón Paloma Month was finished with a party

Patron Tequila created a month-long campaign with the intention to increase popularity of the Paloma Patron cocktail. Bacardi recently bought the Tequila based brand Patron and made the decision to partner with bars across the UK for the month of August. With over 16 bars involved in the activation including Hacha, Café Pacifico, Annabel’s, and Homeboy, each venue offered their own take on the Paloma and provided complimentary food pairings on specific evenings.

The venues were provided with a social media kit to help promote with a unified social media look, and provided with branded Patron Paloma utensils, such as squeezers, fruit creates and Himalayan salt.  At the end of the month, guests were invited to enjoy an event at Kelvingrove Café to celebrate the end of the campaign, where they were provided with five Tequila-based Paloma serves to try during the event.

The campaign was simple but effective by utilising tastings to increase the popularity of the Patron Paloma Cocktail. There was an extra component that Patron provided at the end-of-month event, and it was a specifically catered music playlist this would allow attendees to enjoy the ‘party’ vibe without the event feeling too staged.

There is a distinct reason I made a point of saying that this core event idea is simple, but effective due to the saying ‘liquid on lips’, as it is well known in the PR world that if you put the product in front of your consumer to actually try it, it will build their brand association. Patron invited their audience into the event to enjoy an experience while sipping on their five serves, allowing the consumer the space to enjoy and associate a positive experience with their product.

The proof of the success of this activation was in the statistics! The activation aimed to increase the popularity of the Palomas with Patron Tequila, and by the end of the month, there was a ‘54% increase of popularity in the UK’.

4. Murder, Mystery, and White Claw

This campaign is amazing for its creativity! White Claw partnered with the release of The Glass Onion Murder Mystery film-  together they created an experimental product promotion to engage both fans of the beverage and the movie franchise. They decided to release a limited-edition card game inspired by the movie called ‘Crack the Claw’. Consumers were able to play the murder mystery card game that plays like a good old whodunit, where they could investigate their opponents as a detective, or even be the murderer themselves!  

White Claw gave the opportunity to their fans to be one of the first to receive the game by releasing 7 riddles on their Twitter and Instagram over the course of 24 hours. If you guessed the seven riddles correctly, you would receive a promo code and be the first of 100 fans to receive the card game. The combination of multiple channels facilitated positive chatter for the campaign through, social media, brand collaboration, and media attention.

5. Jolene’s Bans Mariah Carey this Christmas!

Lucky last is one of Agent99’s campaigns from this year (y’all knew we had to throw one in somewhere). Sydney’s leading home of modern country music and American Whiskey – Jolene’s – was running an entire month of Southern Christmas specials, with a Tennessee twist. For the month of December, the venue featured themed cocktails to suit the holiday spirit including the Peppermint Choc Julep, the Gingerbread Manhattan, the Butterscotch Pudding Sour and an Aussie-Christmas favourite, the Pavlova Slushy topped with tropical fruit and meringue.

Jolene’s was selected for best booze campaigns for 2022 due to the ingenious approach they took to market themselves (with our help)! Keen to avoid all of the traditional and cliché Christmas carols instead, the team at Jolene’s chose to stay authentic to who they are and featured talented country singers and bands throughout the month, to keep the much-loved the Jolene’s Tennessee vibe running throughout the holiday season. And as part of that, they decided to completely boycott Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé and other cliché Christmas tunes. With big posters up throughout the venue advising guests of the ban, we decided we had to tell media about it!

After securing an exclusive piece with the Daily Telegraph about the Mariah Carey ban, the internet exploded!

This campaign truly divided Australians, with many people shocked Jolene’s would ban the well-known Christmas carol, but many praising them for the creative concept and allowing a chance for lesser-known country artists to shine. In 24 hours, we saw coverage in all top-tier media channels including Sunrise, 2GB and even The Project! It’s safe to say that while Australia was torn by this campaign, for the brand, it has been a Christmas miracle!

So, If you’re sitting there and wondering, why haven’t you thought of a campaign as innovative as these ones, you can!  Get in touch with the Agent99 PR team today to discuss ways we can help grow your ideas into a fantastic campaign that will put you ahead of your competitors. 

Agent Claire