David Milliken's Brand Marketing Blog

Tis’ the Season (For Seasonal Packaging)

Posted in Packaging by dlmilli on December 28, 2009

A long, long time ago it was the middle of 2008. One of my many responsibilities then was 2009 brand planning for Blue Moon, a MillerCoors brand.

We wanted a big promotion to support the 2009 holiday season. Our creative brief:

  • Brand goal: Floor displays at retail. But we did not want to release a “me too” variety pack like many micro breweries do for the holidays.
  • Consumer mindset: Wine is the norm during the holidays. But beer lovers want to drink beer. If only a great tasting beer would come in wine packaging perfect for sharing.
  • Lunar phenomenon: New Year’s Eve 2009 happens to be a blue moon. Apparently my gift from Mother Nature arrived early.

The winning concept: Limited edition large bottles of Blue Moon, celebrating the “Blue Moon New Year’s Eve”, as an alternative to wine for the holidays. (Ironic, now that I work in wine!)

It was to my delight, when shopping for beverages last week, that I ran into a display for Blue Moon Grand Cru – objective achieved! Packaged in a wine sized 750 milliliter bottle (24.5 ounces), with promotional graphics and special finishes, this package looks great. Like upscale wines, a few bottles were offered in wood gift boxes.

My only disappointment is the decision to release a Grand Cru in place of the regular Blue Moon beer drinkers already love. With few consumers familiar with the term, most of the label’s prime real estate describes what a Grand Cru is. That leaves fewer words to communicate how this package satisfies the beer drinkers’ desire for a beer for the holidays. Nonetheless, a year and a half later, after seeing the Grand Cru packaging in several stores, it is clearly a success.

Whether your preference is beer, bubbles, bourbon, or iced tea, here’s to a happy and safe Blue Moon New Year’s Eve.