The lockdown stole live comedy nights out

So Mike's Hard launched its own YouTube show and put its drinks in the hands of viewers at home.

Screen Shot 2020-07-14 at 4.36.58 PMMike’s Hard is looking to engage with its fans through the newly launched Open Mike’s Comedy series, which launched on Tuesday.

The five-part YouTube series is meant to entertain people during a time when they can’t go out to watch live entertainment, due to restrictions brought on by COVID-19.

Todd Allen, VP of marketing at Labatt Breweries of Canada, says supporting Mike’s Hard products with the Open Mike’s Comedy series is a priority as consumer preferences shift toward the ready-to-drink (RTD) segment.

Allen says the company is specifically putting focus on its RTD cooler Mike’s Hard Blue Freeze, as well as Mike’s Harder Sparkling Water, both of which launched this summer.

During the lockdown, people were eating more meals, getting their entertainment and socializing at home. These new habits posed shifts in alcohol consumption occasions that Mike’s Hard needed to adapt to and “provide people [with] a much-needed form of entertainment and the ability to socialize with friends in new ways,” Allen notes.

“Ultimately, having to pivot [marketing] plans to drive [engagement], to become relevant with your brand in these challenging times, you’ve got to adapt to where the consumer occasions are, and where their media-viewing habits are,” says Allen.

Allen describes the Mike’s brand as having “a long time passion for comedy.”

“We wanted to find new ways to connect with our consumers in ways that bring value,” he says. “We’ve got world-class comedians bringing entertainment to people in a new way during this unprecedented time that we’re facing.”

Just For Laughs’ veteran, Arthur Simeon, and Letterkenny star, K Trevor Wilson, kicked off the series on Tuesday. Allen says other comedians who will take part in the comedy series include The Daily Show’s Ronny Chieng and South African-born comedian Urzila Carlson.

“Ultimately, we want to make people laugh. We want to entertain people; we want to provide content that entertains people, doesn’t interrupt them, so that we can build our affinity with our fans,” Allen says. “And then, ideally, they can grab a Mike’s Harder Sparkling Water at home while they’re watching the show; or a Mike’s Blue Freeze, [our] innovation of the summer.”

FCB Canada is the lead partner of the comedy series, with Live Nation producing it. Veritas Communications is handling the PR, with Vizeum on media.