Iconic Southern soda brand Cheerwine raises funds and spirits with a sweet charity concert

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Cheerwine soda integrates a live concert and sweepstakes to raise funds for charity
Cheerwine soda integrates a live concert and sweepstakes to raise funds for charity

The Offer: Doing good can also be fun, which is why North Carolina-based Cheerwine, a cherry-flavored soft drink, joined forces with NC indie country band The Avett Brothers to provide consumers with a chance to drink Cheerwine, raise money for charity, and enjoy some live tunes all at the same time. Fans that entered the “Legendary Giveback” sweepstakes on Cheerwine's Facebook page and pledged time to any desired charity were rewarded with a special code they could use to watch a sold-out Avett Brothers concert in Charlottesville through Livestream. The town that pledged the most hours could win a Cheerwine-sponsored viewing party on the night of the big show. Ticket sales also went to charity, including Big Brothers Big Sisters and Operation Homefront.

The Data: Cheerwine received more than 27,000 sweepstakes entries, resulting in over 2,000 people pledging more than 30,000 hours to help out at regional and national aid organizations in all 50 states. The brand garnered more than 18,000 Facebook “likes” or Twitter followers, while roughly 4,700 people attended the live concert, which took place on Oct. 19. In excess of 12,000 people from 17 different countries viewed the concert via Livestream.

The Channel: The campaign integrated social, radio, event marketing, and in-store displays in Kroger supermarkets throughout Virginia and the Carolinas.

The Creative: Cheerwine fans—known for their love of and loyalty to the brand—could also win an all-expense-paid VIP package trip to the live concert and a meet-and-greet with the Avett Brothers via a UPC code on Cheerwine packages.

The Verdict:

Kevin Drew Davis is executive creative director at Digitas Chicago and San Francisco. Davis has also led creative teams at Wieden & Kennedy and The Richards Group and has collaborated with top brands, including Audi, Calvin Klein, and Coca-Cola. Read our Q&A with Kevin for more.

The simple pledge seems authentic for both the brand and the band. I like that Cheerwine used the band's substantial Twitter following to retweet several of the brand's tweets about the promotion. That said, there have been a couple of small misses, such as the band's relative inactivity on Twitter, and no persistent presence of the program on the band's site. But overall, it's a smart campaign.

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