Natty Light deploys comedian Trevor Wallace for stunt aimed at White Claw
Firing the latest salvo in the hard seltzer wars, Natural Light signed up comedian Trevor Wallace for a marketing stunt aimed at market leader White Claw.
Wallace—who is behind the “ain’t no laws when you are drinking Claws” rallying cry that went viral earlier this summer—on Sunday arrived via helicopter on a yacht at the Catalina Wine Mixer, a wine and music event at the Descanso Beach Club on California’s Catalina Island. The event is inspired by the fictional Catalina Wine Mixer from the 2008 “Step Brothers” movie. Natural Light’s hook for “crashing” the real-life mixer is that it sells a Catalina Lime Mixer variety of its seltzer, which recently hit shelves.
But the more interesting twist, from a marketing perspective, is Natty Light’s use of Wallace. The comedian’s June video contributed to the lore around White Claw, whose sales have been sizzling. But White Claw, which was not involved in Wallace’s video, did not think it was so funny when the comedian started selling t-shirts adorned with the catchphrase. The brand, owned by Mark Anthony Brands, issued a cease-and-desist, as reported by VinePair in July.
Now Wallace is working for Natty Light as brand owner Anheuser-Busch InBev tries to make up ground in the seltzer category dominated by White Claw and Truly, which is owned by Sam Adams maker Boston Beer Co. Natty Light hyped its Sunday stunt with a press release from agency M&C Saatchi, which called out Wallace’s involvement this way: “And the person that landed that heli on the yacht? Comedian Trevor Wallace, who you might remember from that hard seltzer viral video from a brand too lame to name… That brand sent him a cease & desist. Natty Seltzer sent him a deal...and a f***ing helicopter.”
In a report today, beer trade publication Beer Business Daily wrote that "nabbing Trevor was a pretty quick and shrewd move.”
Regarding White Claw’s cease-and-desist to Wallace, Beer Business Daily observed that “this left many on social media scratching their heads.:
But the publication added: “The harsh legal reality is that if you don't actively defend your trademark, then later you can lose control of it in court actions, (although in this case it seemed like a gray area, as the logo was altered). Still, it was enough to give A-B an entre to snatch him up and gin up some social media buzz. The guy is quite funny and has a huge social media following.”