Cleveland beer fridge campaign becomes a PR winner for Bud Light

Anheuser-Busch installed beer-stocked refrigerators that would be unlocked once the hapless Browns notched a win—their first in two years. A 21-17 win over the Jets let fans taste victory.

Cleveland football fans finally have a reason to celebrate—and so does Anheuser-Busch.

After going 635 days without a win, the Cleveland Browns finally notched a victory—overcoming a 14-point deficit to stun the New York Jets—and Budweiser helped the city celebrate, thanks to savvy planning.

As a marketing stunt, the brewer last month installed locked fridges full of Bud Light around the city that would open after the Browns won—providing free beer to exultant fans.

The promotion was received skeptically when it was rolled out months ago. As PR Daily previously reported:

The Verge wrote:

To fully grasp the cruelty of what Bud Light is doing, you have to appreciate how bad the Browns’ current run of luck has been: in their last three seasons, the team has gone 3-13, 1-15, and 0-16. The last time the Browns won a game was on December 24th, 2016. The time before that was December 13th, 2015. The team is starting the 2018 season coming off a 17-game losing streak, which itself came off the back of a separate 17-game rut that ended with that 2016 win, only to begin the cycle anew.

As SB Nation‘s Jon Bois has definitively proven, the Browns live in hell. And no amount of cold beer — even ones locked away in optimistically branded Browns fridges — can quench those pains.

After the win, however, social media was brimming with videos and snapshots of fans cheerfully passing out the Buds from the unlocked fridges.

The promotion also had fans mentioning the brand offline:

They even got the star of the game asking about the promotion during his press conference:

Other Twitter handles mentioned the promotion with a sense of humor:

Many see the beer fridge promotion as a stroke of genius:

Others predicted some rowdiness:

What do you think of the marketing stunt, PR Daily readers?

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