Ad Age looks back at some of the top food and beverage marketing of 2022.
Top 5 food and beverage campaigns of 2022
5. Pabst Blue Ribbon opens an 80s-themed motel
Pabst Blue Ribbon had its time in the limelight in the '80s when it was vigorously advertised by villain Dennis Hopper in the 1986 David Lynch film “Blue Velvet.”
In August, it played on the era’s nostalgia (although without reference to “Blue Velvet”) and its tagline “Pabst is the place” by literally making a place–three '80s-themed rooms in the already-existing Grand Traverse Motel in Traverse City, Michigan.
The rooms, created with agency DNA, were open for people to book and stay in until Labor Day. Themes included a dive bar, an arcade and a rec room, complete with a record player and other items of the era including a shag carpet and jukebox.
4. More 2000s fashion nostalgia from Kraft
Kraft kept this year's nostalgia theme running strong when it collaborated with Juicy Couture to drop a limited-edition mayo-themed sweatsuit in November.
The blue velour and rhinestone hoodie and sweatpants came with a white tube top reading “mayo couture” and retailed at $150. The rhinestones read “smooth” across the butt of the sweatpants and “long live velvety” on the back of the hoodie. For campaign images, the brand leaned into the nostalgia—for better or worse—with paparazzi-style photographs of models eating mayo in a pink car.
3. Chipotle broke the ice at an NHL game
During an ad break in May, Chipotle used mixed reality technology to cause a ruckus for viewers of a Stanley Cup playoff game between the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues.
Its spot, from Chipotle’s creative agency Venables Bell & Partners and The Famous Group in partnership with the Avalanche, used graphics and animations to interact with 3D environments and show a giant Chipotle meal bowl being pushed onto the ice. A giant hand smashed through the ice and grabbed the meal, coming back up to reach for the brand’s black fork. “And it’s coming back for the fork,” says the commentator in the ad.
“Viewers think that they’re coming back to programming when in reality they’re still in a commercial break and that rolls over into the programming—and the audience is tricked into thinking that they’re back at the game,” said Andrew Isaacson, executive VP of The Famous Group, which produced the spot.
2. Blue Moon founder's crafty cannabis marketing
The founder of beer brand Blue Moon circumvented advertising laws for his new cannabis drink with a sneaky campaign from Mother. The campaign, launched in June, marketed the brand’s alcohol-free drink Ceria which contains THC, a substance that is federally illegal and therefore subject to advertising rules.
To get around ad rules, the brand created a Spotify playlist to say what it couldn’t say in advertising because “playlists don’t have to be federally approved,” said Joe Staples, partner and chief creative officer of Mother. The playlist accompanied an out-of-home ad campaign in California, where people who passed posters reading “legally this ad can’t say much but this playlist can” and telling viewers to scan a code to listen to the songs such as “Top Grade THC” by Members onlysmoove and Monroe Slim.
1. Patrick Mahomes markets … a flashlight
Coors and Mischief take the cake for sneaky advertising in a July campaign advertising … a flashlight.
Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback, dodged the NFL’s advertising rules against working with beer brands by selling a silver flashlight, “The Coors Light,” that looks and is described like a can of Coors Light. The ad included a reference to the brand’s tagline, describing the flashlight as made of “high-quality steel so it feels as cold as the Rocky Mountains.”
Although the NFL’s marketing rules were loosened in 2019 to allow players to appear in beer ads including point-of-sale marketing and out-of-home ads, they are required to wear playing uniforms and brands can only use action shots from the Associated Press as images.