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:
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.
[EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Communications Benchmark Report 2021]
After the win, however, social media was brimming with videos and snapshots of fans cheerfully passing out the Buds from the unlocked fridges.
— Bud Light (@budlight) September 21, 2018
— Darren M. Haynes (@DarrenMHaynes) September 21, 2018
The promotion also had fans mentioning the brand offline:
— Phil Buck (@Phil_Buck) September 21, 2018
They even got the star of the game asking about the promotion during his press conference:
Baker Mayfield on NFL Network: “Did they open the Bud Light?! DILLY DILLY!!!”
That’s franchise QB stuff there.
— Jeff Barker (@JeffBarker_) September 21, 2018
Other Twitter handles mentioned the promotion with a sense of humor:
— Cleveland Police (@CLEpolice) September 21, 2018
Many see the beer fridge promotion as a stroke of genius:
Which was the smarter pick?
Taking Baker at No. 1
Bud Light choosing the beer fridge idea
— Radi Nabulsi (@RadiNabulsi) September 21, 2018
Others predicted some rowdiness:
Cleveland area hospitals preparing for a slew of Bud Light fridge-related injuries
— Mark Ellis (@markellislive) September 21, 2018
Here’s a live look at Cleveland traffic after they raided the Bud Light fridge lockers.. pic.twitter.com/fcEaNqhL1m
— Scott Walker (@SharkWalk72) September 21, 2018
What do you think of the marketing stunt, PR Daily readers?