Keystone Light decks out fans in camo to connect with rural customers

    • Keystone Light, owned by Molson Coors, is reaching out to rural drinkers in a new campaign with outdoor brand Realtree, according to a press release.
    • The effort includes fresh creative along with a new line of Keystone-inspired clothing from Realtree in a push to connect with the rural communities that make up majority of Keystone Light buyers.
    • As one of Molson Coors’ smaller light beers, brand loyalty is crucial to growth. Keystone Light has launched previous campaigns that focus on rural communities and activities, especially as many consumers left the city for the country during the pandemic.

    Currently, 60% of Keystone Light’s volume comes from rural communities, per the company. As more Americans left cities for the country during the pandemic, Molson Coors has increasingly attempted to integrate itself into rural culture. The most recent advertisement, featuring a man who partially converts his barn into a bar serving Keystone Light, is an attempt to further highlight that effort. Product packaging will also be overhauled.

    As part of the Realtree collaboration, a unique camouflage pattern was developed for the beer. The camo will be printed on hats, shirts, sweatshirts and other products, including a pool that fits in a truck bed. In addition to the apparel collection, Team Penske’s Keystone Light No. 2 car will be decorated with the pattern during a May Dallas NASCAR race. As driver of the car, Austin Cindric will play a key role in the campaign.

    “We want to strengthen where our core is,” Matt Lafferty, marketing manager for Keystone Light, said in the announcement. “Not everybody within those rural counties is buying Keystone Light, so that’s where we see our growth opportunity.”

    As beer sales slip, brand loyalty is crucial. Establishing a loyal and stable base can make a beer brand, especially as U.S. consumers tend to stick with one alcohol brand. Nearly 40% of U.S. consumers have been drinking their preferred alcohol brand for over 10 years. According to IRI data shared by the brand, Keystone Light has the second highest loyalty rate in the entire beer category. It also has the second highest buy rate, growing 11% from last year.

    Keystone Light has made similar moves in the past to build brand loyalty. At this time last year, the brand released the digital campaign “Ode to the Smooth Life.” In the ads, a can of Keystone Light saves the day when the rural life is less than ideal, such as the fish not biting or the cooler going empty. In one spot, a golden Labrador brings his owner a can of Keystone Light after his partner takes the last one. In another, a fisherman down on his luck cracks open a can of the beer, and fish jump into the cooler.


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