Anyone who has spent time in a supermarket, liquor store or social platform in the past few years can clearly see that the ready-to-drink category has become deeply saturated and highly competitive. As players in this category, Twisted Tea and Truly Hard Seltzer needed to rise above the pack and get Canadians to consider their brands over the others when they found themselves in that very crowded beverage aisle.
We asked ourselves how we could get consumers to keep these brands top of mind and how we could help them reach a higher level of differentiation. Research has uncovered that brand experiences have a positive impact on brand loyalty. Consumers who consciously and unconsciously experience products and services in different environments form their perceptions as a result of these. Given that brand loyalty is relatively low in the RTD category, forming a positive connection among our consumer base was a great opportunity to increase brand consideration, as positive associations would work in our favor.
Taking this into account, we established that our objective was for Truly and Twisted Tea to stand out. In order to do so, we needed to provide our consumers with an entertaining experience that they could truly engage with, bringing in the sense of play and whimsy often associated with both brands and meeting our audiences where they were at.
The next step was deciding on the type of experience that would best resonate. Looking at trends, we clearly saw that our target audiences’ (adults 19-34), usage of AR and interest in gaming had increased significantly. Also, based on historically successful performance and platform capabilities, we saw that people were looking for fun and interactive ways to converse and connect with brands. We saw this as our opportunity to drive up brand consideration.
Our strategy was to create an entertaining, high-quality experience aligned with our audience’s increased use and interest in AR and gaming, in order to drive more active engagement and ultimately, consideration for both Twisted Tea and Truly Hard Seltzer.
Enter our big idea: The Truth or Twist Game, an immersive and entertaining AR experience in the form of a Snapchat lens, their first co-branded effort, which would allow us to make a larger impact through their joining of forces.
This trendy yet nostalgic activation allowed us to spend time with our target, sharing messages in a lighthearted way that did not feel like a traditional one-sided ad. As we had previously identified our audience's penchant for gaming and AR, we knew that this strategy lined up and allowed us to speak to them in a way that was engaging, entertaining and interesting to them.
The Truth or Twist lens encouraged users to interact with the brands via the interactive lens, taking the sense of play present within the two brands and using it draw people in and have some genuine fun, creating positive associations that would keep them coming back.
We leveraged colorful and eye-catching imagery to highlight attributes for both brands. When the user opens the AR Lens, a text prompt appears instructing the user to "Simply open your mouth or lift your eyebrows" to play Truth or Twist. Depending on which action the user selects, the Lens will either display Truly or Twisted Tea branding, and a card from the virtual Truth or Twist deck.
We identified Snapchat as the ideal partner for a few reasons. Snapchat reaches more than two thirds of 19 to 34-year-olds in Canada and of these, 80% use AR on the platform on a regular basis. In fact, gamers are one of the top lifestyle categories within this audience on Snapchat. Knowing that users would be receptive and even looking for this kind of experience on Snapchat made it the ideal stage on which to reach our goals.
To reach our audience at-scale and drive usage of the Truth or Twist Lens we amplified it from both the Truly and Twisted Tea brand accounts, ensuring top placements within Snapchat’s lens carousel as users open their camera in Snapchat.
Results showed that our audience loved playing Truth or Twist, spending on average 51 seconds with the game, five times higher than benchmark, proving their high level of engagement. Clearly, leaning into their interests for AR and gaming allowed us to create a deeply enjoyable space that helped us reach our goals.
Not only did the audience enjoy playing, they were moved to share with their friends, 217,000 shares at a 7.47% share rate to be exact, also exceeding the platform benchmark, which hovers around 2-5%.
Through this lens, we were able to actively engage with our audience, who in turn brought in others into the experience. We drove an incremental reach of 41% higher than projected, reaching a total of 747,000 unique users. This shows that not only were we able to reach a larger audience, but a more qualified audience who was actively sharing the lens and engaging with the Twisted Tea and Truly Hard Seltzer brands.
With results like these, we can say with confidence that the next time our target finds themselves in the RTD aisle, the time they spent with these brands through the lens will ensure that Twisted Tea and Truly are firmly top of mind.