Cutwater refreshes brand to accentuate accessibility of canned cocktails

    • Cutwater, an Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned canned cocktail brand, launched a new campaign and visual refresh on Feb. 23, according to a press release.
    • The “Open the Bar” campaign is intended to make cocktail culture feel more accessible. Three spots developed by AKQA and directed by Italian duo Mathery showcase the brand’s line of over 20 offerings. The effort will span social channels, connected TV, digital platforms and retail.
    • Cutwater has also changed up its brand design to provide consumers with clearer graphic cues. The volume of alcohol contained in each drink is also more clearly identified. The rollout will continue through the spring.

    Cutwater’s brand refresh is meant to help the spirit company stand out in an increasingly crowded canned cocktail market. “Open the Bar” is intended to promote both the brand’s premium nature and its accessibility. The three spots, “Après Ski,” “Beach” and “At-Home Entertaining” depict consumers enjoying cocktails during drinking opportunities where cocktail consumption may be challenging.

    Cutwater’s rebrand also addresses some of the concerns associated with canned cocktails. For example, the new cans make it clear how much alcohol is in each serving. Canned cocktails can range from no alcohol to an ABV of 42%, so putting the alcohol content front and center could help consumers make informed decisions regarding what they are consuming. The ABV of Cutwater’s own beverages also ranges dramatically, elevating the need for the disclosure. For example, the vodka soda contains about 5% ABV, while its Long Island Iced Tea packs a whopping 13.2% ABV. For comparison, Bud Light, also produced by AB InBev, has an ABV of 4.2%.

    Cutwater is part of AB InBev’s Beyond Beer portfolio, which is intended to shore up the beer giant’s grip on the beer alternative space. Canned cocktail sales jumped 42% in 2021, reaching $1.6 billion in revenue, with growth expected to continue. As the space gets bigger and more competitive, being able to stand out on a shelf is increasingly critical.


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