The Washington Post has a new kind of ad blocker today. The publisher is featuring a “Mike’s S(ad) Blocker” sponsored by Mike’s Hard Lemonade that will filter out all but good news for WaPo readers.
Clicking on ads for Mike’s Hard Lemonade will take readers to “The ‘happier’ Washington Post” where originally reported good news from WaPo is curated. The Washington Post homepage will remain its normal mixture of all types of content.
Mike’s worked with WaPo’s branded content team on the new page for the “happy content” which features tiles that, at first, advertise content written by the beverage company before flipping to the originally reported WaPo stories.
“We’ve created this magical world for Mike’s, which is a visually and emotionally bright place that’s unlocked with the twist of a cap,” said Tim Nolan, Executive Creative Director at Havas. “With this world, Mike’s then becomes the catalyst that unlocks those precious human experiences that can occur in any place that people gather.”
Because a lot of people begin the day by reading the news, said Sara Bailer, group planning director, Wavemaker Chicago, the goal was to come up with a campaign that helped them get off to a happy start.
“It’s a high challenge but a really rewarding one,” Bailer said. “Yes, we’re trying to sell alcohol, but we’re also trying to let people have a better day.”
In addition to being April Fools’ Day, today is also the beverage company’s birthday. The content will be available on the Mike’s Hard Lemonade page throughout April, but it’s just one medium Mike’s is using to roll out its comprehensive campaign. Three new digital and TV ads from Havas Chicago featuring people celebrating big days with Mike’s Hard Lemonade are also dropping today.
“We wanted to connect more deeply, emotionally and culturally around this feeling of happiness,” said Sanjiv Gajiwala, senior vice president of marketing, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co., especially in this “polarized” time.
Mike’s Hard Lemonade is also putting bright yellow newsstands full of free newspapers with nothing but “positive” stories in 10 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.
The campaign, dubbed “The Brighter Times,” which will continue through the summer, will also include a study of how reading news affects people’s moods and a New York pop-up where people can experiment with facial recognition software to see how news affects them.
“What we’ve seen in the past couple of years over meme culture and internet culture is that consumers respond to happy news on their social feeds, and news sites and we want to be a brand that helps highlight and brighten people’s lives,” Gajiwala said.
Client/Brand: Mike’s Hard Lemonade
Campaign: Drink on the Bright Side
Creative Agency: Havas Chicago
Media Agency: Wavemaker
Executive Creative Director: Tim Nolan
Group Creative Director: Benny Jackson
Associate Creative Director, Copy: Eric Kripas
Copywriter: Tim Babb
Art Director: Paul Domingo
Executive Producer: Brigette Whisnant
Business Manager: Sylvia Sanchez
Senior Strategist: Casey Carpenter
Group Account Director: Chrissy Bouyea Gajiwala
Senior Account Director: Adam Burtaine
Project Manager: Sarah Scanlon
Director: Ross Cooper
Executive Producer: Rick Brown
Editor: Volkert Besseling