Stella Artois is turning to Instagram during its holiday marketing kick, hoping to appeal to millennial beer drinkers. The Anheuser-Busch brand is the first beer maker to buy ads on Instagram, which started selling sponsored posts last year.
Instagram is known for its photos and videos from users sharing pictures of their meals and drinks, and the Stella Artois campaign fits right into the foodie vibe. The beer company has been buying commercial time on TV and producing videos on YouTube for its holiday push called "Give Beautifully." Now, it is running six photos on Instagram starting today. It's not using videos, which are new to the platform.
"We are excited to work with Instagram as they seek to integrate advertising into the consumer experience, which is as high quality and beautiful as the images users would normally see in their feeds," Lucas Herscovici, Anheuser-Busch's vice president of consumer connections, said in an emailed statement. "Given the commitment to artistry and sophistication that defines the Stella Artois brand, we thought featuring imagery supporting the brand's holiday campaign, 'Give Beautifully,' would be the perfect fit."
Social media has become a cornerstone for holiday advertising, and even the newest outlets like Snapchat are attracting experimental marketing dollars. Macy's sponsored behind-the-scenes, user-generated videos of its Thanksgiving Day parade on Snapchat, and Amazon sponsored Black Friday on the messaging app.
The new social channels are seen as crucial for reaching younger audiences. VaynerMedia, a specialist in social media marketing headed by Gary Vaynerchuk, helped Stella Artois with its Instagram ads.
"Reaching and engaging legal drinking-age millennial consumers is critical for all of our brands," Herscovici wrote. "As a leading social platform for 21+ consumers, Instagram is a very important channel for us."
Of course, the alcohol industry has to be careful not to target consumers under the age of 21, which has made platforms like Instagram uncertain territory until now. Facebook, which owns Instagram, uses targeting data to only show Stella Artois ads to appropriately aged consumers.
Have a look at the campaign: