Why Truly is using fruit flies to market its hard seltzer – AdAge.com

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Truly Hard Seltzer is deploying unlikely stars for its newest ad—fruit flies. The normally distasteful insects are featured to promote what the Boston Beer Co.-owned brand is positioning as a tasty benefit—that it uses real fruit juice—as it seeks new momentum in the struggling hard seltzer category.
The ad, from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, shows fruit flies buzzing around the pictures of fruit on the seltzer cans, followed by text reading “fruit flies love real fruit.” The ad will get paid digital support on YouTube, ESPN, Complex, Bleacher Report, Thrillist, Buzzfeed and Food Network. It is part of a larger campaign called “Our Best Flavors” plugging the addition of real fruit juice to Truly’s entire lineup. 
Matt Withington, senior director of marketing for Truly for brand owner Boston Beer Company, described the effort as Truly’s “biggest campaign this year,” backed by an estimated $10 million in media support. As for the use of fruit flies, he said, “We’re not opposed to taking risks.”
The campaign also includes a more conventional 15-second ad that presents fruit juice as creating a fuller flavor, with the words “real fruit juice” flashing across the screen and a voiceover at the end saying “our best flavors just got better.” It will run on social platforms Snap, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as out-of-home and traditional TV.
The push comes as the once-high flying hard seltzer segment continues to slump. Sales volume dropped 16% in the four weeks ending Aug. 7, Beer Marketer’s Insights recently reported, citing IRI data tracking sales in stores. Truly remains the nation’s second-largest hard seltzer brand behind White Claw, but its dollar sales fell 17% in the second quarter, Boston Beer reported.
Drinkers ages 35 to 44 are shifting back to light beer, Boston Beer CEO Dave Burwick said during a July 21 earnings call. “I think it’s partially affordability, but it’s also partially the fact that light beer offers a lot of the same benefits that hard seltzers provide,” he said, according to a transcript.
Withington, in an interview, said: “This summer has maybe been a bit more challenging for hard seltzer (but) we believe it’s here to stay.”
Truly’s strategy has been “understanding our audience and then innovating in ways that they find compelling,” said Withington. “Hard seltzer is the beverage of the new generation” meaning those aged 21 to 34, he added. “We’re really for that generation,” but he added that “we’re also for 30-plus drinkers as well.”
In this article:
Jade Yan is a general assignment reporter for Ad Age. She has worked for the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, along with The South Side Weekly, City Bureau and The Peoria Journal-Star.


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