Hoping to Attract Millennial Men, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Rebrands With a Bright New Campaign

New work from Havas agency The Annex

Mike's Hard Lemonade
Headshot of Katie Richards

Mike’s Hard Lemonade has a problem reaching millennial male consumers. The main issue is that, as it turns out, most younger millennial men have no idea what Mike’s Hard Lemonade is.

In a move to capture the attention of men ages 25 to 29, the brand teamed up with The Annex (out of Havas in Chicago) to deliver a happy and bright new campaign, “Drink on the Bright Side.” The campaign includes a mix of out-of-home, social, digital, TV and print work.

The idea for the campaign came from the client’s insight that anyone who drinks a Mike’s Hard Lemonade probably isn’t sad, but rather very happy. “The core belief for us as a brand is Mike’s is about your favorite happy times. The reality is that sad people don’t drink Mike’s, so for us we wanted to make our creative campaign reflect that moment of happiness in what increasingly feels like a negative world,” Sanjiv Gajiwala, vp of marketing for Mike’s, said.

The Annex (essentially a subsection of Havas created by millennials for millennials) worked on the campaign. The Chicago agency had its millennial division work on the campaign to ensure the work “has an authenticity of what is cool and what is relevant,” Jason Peterson, chairman and CCO of Havas Creative, U.S., said.

For much of the TV and digital content, the agency wanted to create work that tapped into this “Tim and Eric and kind of Tumblr, meme phenomenon,” Peterson added. There area few short spots including “Rocket Shoes,” and “Arcade” that tap into that culture nicely. They’re a little absurd and outlandish but still funny and charming–especially “Arcade,” which features an adorable little puppy that turns into a laser shooting machine.

With print and out of home work, the agency decided to go in a different direction and keep things very straightforward. Copy is very simple with lines like, “What laughter tastes like” and, “Sad people don’t drink Mike’s.”

Added Gajiwala: “For us the insight was this group of consumers, these 25-30 years olds, they have their own language which is not always a spoken language or a linear language, they don’t have a lot of time and they want to communicate quickly and for us that meant shifting our creative approach to reflect that and reflect what we think Mike’s Hard Lemonade is and what it’s role is in their mindset.”


Chief Creative Officer, N.A: Jason Peterson
Executive Creative Director: Paul Hirsch
Group Creative Director: Pat Hanna
Senior Copywriter: Bob Howe
Senior Art Director: Andrew Caturano
Co-Head of Production, N.A: Dave Evans
Senior Integrated Producers: Catherine Hudon and Austen Williams
Photographer: Mikey McLenighan
Director of Business Affairs: Bonnie Hamilton
Group Account Director: Chrissy Bouyea
Account Director: Kevin Diedrich
Senior Project Manager: Kevin Zimmerman

Production Company: Gifted Youth
Director: Fatal Farm /Jeffrey Max
Executive Producer: Anthony Ficalora and Dal Wolf
Line Producer: Cary Gillespie

Post Production:
Editorial Company: The Mill
Editor, Company: Charlotte Carr, The Mill
Executive Producer, VFX & Design, Company: Andrew Sommerville, The Mill
Producer, Editorial, Company: Mike Pullan, The Mill
Shoot Supervisor, Company: Theo Maniatis, The Mill
2D Lead Artist, Company:  Andrew Pellicer, The Mill
2D Artist, Company: Dan Frantz, The Mill
3D Artists, Company: Adam Carroll, Jordan Carroll, Ross Scroble, The Mill
Art Director, Company: Matt Darnall, The Mill
Head of Design, Company: Jeff Boddy, The Mill
Designers: Adrian Navarro, Josh Van Praag
Executive Producer, Color: Laurie Adrianopoli, The Mill
Producer, Color: Dan Butler, The Mill
Colorist: Luke Morrison, The Mill
Color Assistants: Mikey Pehanich, Lindsey Mazur

Music Composer Company: duotone audio group & Chicago Recording Studio
Executive Producer: Ross Hopman
Producer: Gio Lobato
Creative Director: Jack Livesey
Sr. Audio Engineer: Ian Scott

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.