A hypothetical advertising agency pitch detailing how Downeast Cider could increase brand awareness and sales.

For the final project in my senior year Advertising & Brand Promotion class, we were organized into groups and tasked with choosing a company/brand that we believed could benefit from a new or updated advertising plan. My group members and I all love Downeast Cider, and as I was drinking one and trying to think of a potential company, it occurred to me that it was definitely possible to get more people to love Downeast Cider.

My thought was that, within the hard cider category, Downeast was differentiated from competitors already because of its juicy, unfiltered taste. In terms of ABV and consistency, Downeast was also similar to craft beer and could potentially reposition itself to compete in the huge American beer industry. However, Downeast's current marketing and promotional efforts are almost non-existent. They rely almost entirely on their quirky organic social accounts and local word-of-mouth. For this reason, despite being around for 7+ years now, they still only have a presence in the Northeast region and some select states like Colorado and Minnesota.

The problem is not a lack of personality but rather just a lack of paid promotional efforts in general. To this end, my group and I came up with several recommendations for a Downeast advertising campaign. We wanted to keep their #unfiltered voice and personality, but amplify it to broader and newer audiences, as well as cultivate their brand following even more in the Northeast. For a non-traditional brand personality, we designed a primarily non-traditional promotional plan, focusing on low-cost but effective solutions like brand ambassadors from the target market, eye-catching social media ads and a viral TikTok challenge asking people to show us how they shake their Downeast Cider. We additionally came up with comedian sponsorships and point-of-sale print materials to catch consumers when they were - and weren't - expecting it.

You can see mockups of the POS prints below, as well as a social animation I created for the project and an excerpt of the recommendations section from our final agency pitch.

  • — category: branding, animation
  • — class: advertising & branding
  • — year: 2020
  • — for: final agency pitch