As a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan, seeing their winless drought end last night was a relief. I must admit that I’ve been embarrassed for the last few years to even claim them as my favorite team. Our hero-in-waiting, Baker Mayfield, came into the came and put an end to a 19-game losing streak that spanned 635 days (yes, we were counting).
And what did Mayfield say to reporters after bringing this big victory to the city of Cleveland? “Dilly Dilly to the Cleveland fans!”
That’s right, Bud Light won the game too.
As a Cleveland native and Browns fan, I was happy to feel the joy of victory again. As a marketing consultant, I had to salute Bud Light for their marketing genius. If you aren’t familiar with the Bud Light promotion that I’m referring to, this may be the first of many times you will hear about it today and in the days to come.
Knowing that a Cleveland Browns victory would come at some point (hopefully this season!), Bud Light offered to give free beer to Browns fans to celebrate after the next win. Dozens of coolers were placed around the city of Cleveland and state of Ohio with 200 cans of beer locked inside each. Once the victory was official, the coolers were automatically opened.
Brilliant, right? Bud Light knew this win would be big news – not just sports news – but a big national (maybe international) story. You know, one of those underdog, come from behind, feel good news stories. And what will each of those stories include? Free Bud Light for the fans. I bow to the creatives who concocted this plan.
Of course social media is a buzz about the free beer giveaway. Even the Cleveland Police got into the act, tweeting, “We WON!!! — Wait…oh God. The free beer thing…Ok Cleveland. Stay calm. GO BROWNS!!!! @Browns @Budlight #CLE.”
So, what’s the marketing moral of this story?
Be prepared to take advantage of a big event that connects with your brand in some way. Sure Bud Light is a huge brand with a big budget and they are able to go really big with their version of this promotion, but that doesn’t mean that other brands or even a small local business can’t get creative and find a connection. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with your marketing. Surprise and delight your customers every once in a while. They’ll remember it.
Go Browns! Dilly Dilly.
About the Author: Mark Cipolletti is a fractional Chief Marketing Officer and the founder of Pinch Hit Partners. If you’d like to chat about the Browns (or marketing) you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.