Shadow-Watching: Why Focus On Groundhog Day ?

Groundhog Day has always been an odd duck (or rodent) of a holiday, which doesn’t provide the same motivation for brand-consumer interaction as, say, Valentine’s Day.

Legacy craft beer brand Samuel Adams is an exception, running a campaign around the idiosyncratic folk celebration for the second consecutive year and having a long association with the holiday.

To celebrate the occasion, the brand teamed up with DraftKings for a “Groundhog Day Prediction Pool” contest, challenging audiences to answer a series of questions related to Groundhog Day and sports – including predicting whether the marmot meteorologist will see its shadow and predict spring -- for a chance to win their share of $10,000 in cash prizes. The campaign promoted the flagship Boston Beer Company brand’s seasonal Cold Snap White Ale and Prime Time Beers Variety Pack releases.

CPG Insidercaught up with Samuel Adams Head of Brand Lauren Price for more details.

This interview has been edited slightly for length and clarity.

CPG Insider: Groundhog Dog isn't as associated with seasonal marketing campaigns as other February events and holidays. What are the benefits of marketing around a less crowded holiday?

Lauren Price: Groundhog Day has been a quirky yet quintessential part of American tradition, and at Samuel Adams we always look for unique ways to engage drinkers in unexpected moments rooted in celebration or drinking occasions. While not a “typical” holiday on a traditional marketing calendar, the excitement and anticipation around if our fuzzy meteorologist friend, Punxsutawney Phil, will see his shadow, takes center stage nationwide and it gives us the opportunity to stand out in a crowded landscape.

We also have a storied history with the Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, with our spring seasonal brews on-premise during Groundhog Day celebrations. And in 2011, Samuel Adams Founder Jim even became an honorary member of the Inner Circle. So, continuing the evolution of our partnership with Groundhog Club’s Inner Circlet not only extends our Groundhog Day narrative but refreshes our way of engaging drinkers.

CPG Insider: How does this year's campaign mark an evolution from how the brand has approached the occasion in the past?

Price: Last year, we announced that Samuel Adams is the official beer of Groundhog Day, giving drinkers both on-site and nationwide the opportunity to engage with Samuel Adams. Not only did we document Your Cousin From Boston’s journey to Gobbler’s Knob as the Samuel Adams Groundhog Day correspondent, but we also sent $50K worth of Cold Snap to 5,000 lucky drinkers to cover the cost of a Cold Snap as a consolation for six more weeks of winter.

Coming off a successful holiday last year, we decided to renew and extend the partnership, with 2024 marking the first of three more years as the official beer of Groundhog Day.

Returning for our second year, we decided to join forces with DraftKings, one of the most recognizable sports and entertainment companies in the United States, to create “Groundhog Day Prediction Pool Presented by Samuel Adams Cold Snap”  where drinkers around the country can put their skills to the test and answer a handful of questions tied to Groundhog Day and sports games or events taking place on Feb. 2.

Next year, we’ll continue to mine for exciting ways we can engage drinkers and introduce them to the thrill of Groundhog Day through programming, partnerships or product releases. Until then, we’re eager to see if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow.

CPG Insider: What led to the partnership with DraftKings?

Samuel Adams and DraftKings are both staples for game day needs all spring long, so teaming up with Draftkings gives us the opportunity to engage current and new drinkers in unexpected ways. Collaborating with other like-minded brands like DraftKings helps open the doors to audiences we haven’t reached before – and we’re excited to expand into the sports and entertainment space.

Next story loading loading..