Leinenkugel’s annual Oktoberfest celebration, which typically draws around 14,000 revelers to its hometown of Chippewa Falls, Wis., was scheduled to take place over the weekend.
But, like most other events this year – including the giant Oktoberfest celebration in Germany – the gathering was canceled because of the global pandemic. Despite the inability to gather with its fans in person this year, Leinenkugel’s is encouraging drinkers to celebrate anyway from the comfort of their couches with cold Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest in hand – or pocket.
The brand late last week unveiled its limited-edition “Leiniehosen” a two-piece lederhosen-inspired sweatsuit designed for coronavirus-era Oktoberfest celebrations. With imprinted high socks, suspenders and a button-down shirt, Leiniehosen nailed all the important details of lederhosen – just imprinted on a couch-ready hoodie and sweatpants. The clincher? Each set has insulated pockets to keep warm pretzels warm and cold Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest beer cold.
As part of the promotion, Leinenkugel’s is offering legal-age drinkers in select states an opportunity to snag a free six-pack of Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest bottles — if they take 60 seconds to bathe themselves in the soothing sounds of German polka music. Details can be found at Leiniehosen.com.
“We knew Oktoberfest was going to be looking different this year. The festival was canceled in Germany and in our home of Chippewa Falls, so we wanted to help drinkers find a way to celebrate it but from the comfort and safety of their homes,” says Alyssa Bush, associate marketing manager for Leinenkugel’s. “Leinenkugel’s beers are German-inspired with a twist of Wisconsin ingenuity. And Leiniehosen fits that model perfectly: It’s our fun twist on traditional German attire.”
Leinenkugel’s is backing the promotion with a social media and public relations campaign that kicked off Friday and extends through Oct. 9.
Its Oktoberfest campaign comes amid a resurgence for the brand, which has improved sales velocity by 24% year-to-date, according to Nielsen all-outlet and convenience data through Sept. 5. The trend is even better over the last 13 weeks, with velocity up 27.5%, the data show.
With a strong showing over the summer for Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and a promising debut of Leinenkugel’s Spritzen, Leinie’s has booked a 15.6 point trend improvement so far in 2020, per Nielsen.
And, Bush says, the brand’s marketing team is confident Leinenkugel’s will continue that momentum into the fall with Oktoberfest and the debut of a new winter seasonal: Leinenkugel’s Toasted Bock.
“It’s been such an encouraging year for Leinie’s overall, even with the difficult circumstances we all have faced,” Bush says. “We’ve got a lot of confidence heading into fall and 2021.”