Mike’s Hard Lemonade pays consumers to take PTO

    • Mike’s Hard Lemonade is rewarding workers who don’t receive paid-time-off (PTO) with its limited-time program, “Mike’s Time Off,” per details shared with Marketing Dive.
    • Live today (Sept. 21) through Sept. 28, consumers can “apply” for MTO on for the chance to receive $200 for one day’s worth of time off. Winners will be paid electronically via Zelle or Venmo.
    • Additionally, Mike’s Hard will send a lemon-scented check to winners and encourage them to post a picture on social media using the hashtag #MikesTimeOff. The giveaway comes as a fear of recession looms and could boost the brand’s presence among price-conscious and Gen Z consumers.

    As inflation soars and economic woes persist, Mike’s Hard’s latest push is a sure-fire way of grabbing the attention of both younger or price-conscious consumers, specifically those who aren’t taking time off for fear of losing out on pay. The promise of a day off could also appeal to Americans who had planned summer vacations but didn’t take them because of widespread travel delays. 

    The program encourages those who don’t receive PTO to apply via the brand’s site with the tagline, “A summer without paid time off is a real squeeze.” To enter, consumers must provide standard details like a name and email, but are also prompted to include the industry they work in and what they plan to do with their “MTO,” offering Mike’s Hard valuable consumer data that could help the brand better cater future efforts to its audience.

    MTO could also help the brand breakthrough with Gen Z consumers, many of which who are just reaching the legal drinking age in the U.S. PTO and work life balance are of increased importance for Generation Z and hard alternatives to beer and seltzer have also seen growing popularity as young consumers expand their taste in alcohol.

    To promote the program, Mike’s Hard created a series of short videos, each 15 seconds or less, showcasing what consumers could be doing if they had the day off: Grilling, jumping into a pool or cruising down a waterslide. Plenty could relate to the want, with 50% of workers reporting they would rather have a flexible time-off policy than higher pay.  

    Paying people to take a vacation is not an uncommon tactic for alcohol brands. In 2021, Jameson, an Irish whiskey owned by Pernod Ricard, paid 1,000 people $50 to take St. Patrick’s Day off. Mike’s Hard’s push, which also alludes to saying goodbye to summer, could help keep its product front of mind for consumers as they start shifting their interests to more hearty, fall-catered selections.

    “As a brand that loves summer, we wanted to give hard working Americans one last chance to squeeze in one last day of summer with some MTO,” said John Shea, chief marketing officer for Mike’s Hard Lemonade in a press statement.


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