Revisiting the highly successful Save Pub Life campaign 3 Monkeys Zeno carried out for Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I back in March, this week we launched Save Pub Life 2.0. Understanding the damaging impact of a second national lockdown on the hospitality sector, we recognised the need to step up and support British pubs once again. Mass closure of pubs and restaurants leaves the industry in a potentially ruinous financial position, and the campaign demonstrates how Budweiser Brewing Group is willing to respond.
When pubs, bars and restaurants initially shut earlier this year, we worked with Budweiser Brewing Group to launch Save Pub Life and offer a lifeline for consumers to support their locals. Pubgoers were able to buy gift cards to spend at participating pubs when they reopened in July. Budweiser Brewing Group matched the value of the gift cards and, crucially, funnelled the money to all participating businesses during the initial lockdown (not when they reopened, giving them the funds when they needed them most). More than 1,500 pubs signed up to the scheme, 17,000 gift cards were bought and over £1 million was donated in financial support in just over two months.
For Save Pub Life 2.0 we re-launched the gift card scheme to help communities support their local pub in the run up to Christmas. Once again, people will be able to buy a gift card to spend at their pubs when they reopen. However, this time, Budweiser Brewing Group will send the initial purchaser a second gift card of equal value, to give to a friend or loved one, so they can share a beer when pubs re-open.
As the largest brewer in the world, we recognised the responsibility Budweiser Brewing Group has to the pubs up and down the country, and so have acted. Christmas is consistently the busiest time of the year for the industry so by introducing a system whereby customers can essentially buy credit now to use over the festive period, we have hopefully helped to compensate for a month of no business. We’ve also used this to ensure we are communicating the brewer’s smart drinking messages. Every gift card will include a tip on how to drink smart this Christmas.
The communication strategy goes beyond financial assistance though. As the first lockdown subsided, we worked with Budweiser Brewing Group to pivot Save Pub Life and its messaging towards the next stage; evolving it into a platform offering comprehensive re-opening support to pubs and bars. This includes on-demand ordering, operational safety support and digital marketing training. We will no doubt be looking to do the same again for Save Pub Life 2.0 as the sector hopes the days of national lockdowns are behind them.
Having initially secured both national and trade coverage, notably national print coverage in the Daily Star, we are looking at ways to promote the scheme through paid social media and consumer gift guides. Our social strategy in particular will help to spread news of the campaign and generate a buzz in the coming weeks. With news of the national lockdown being lifted next week, pubs and restaurants will be reopening their doors to a very thirsty Great British public.