Inside the launch of Travis Scott’s fast-selling spiked seltzer

Cacti sold out online within 12 hours of its debut.

Campaign: Cacti
Company: Anheuser-Busch
Agency partners: Weber Shandwick (PR, media relations)
Duration: March 15, 2021

Within 12 hours of launching, rapper Travis Scott’s spiked seltzer brand Cacti sold out online.

Conversations with Anheuser-Busch and Scott started a little over a year ago, said David Stromberg, Scott’s manager.

“Once we decided to create a seltzer, it took roughly eight months for Cacti Agave Spiked Seltzer to hit shelves,” Stromberg said.

From Anheuser-Busch’s perspective, partnering with Scott on a seltzer brand was a compelling strategy to connect with the rapper’s fanbase and leverage his understanding of virality and pop culture. 

“This is much more than a limited-edition product drop; it is a long-term collaborative effort for all parties involved,” said Lacey Clifford, senior director marketing communications for Anheuser-Busch.  

Scott was “extremely involved” in the strategy behind Cacti’s launch, Stromberg said. This included filming a commercial with filmmaker Trey Edward Shults and curating a series of branded events.

When Cacti launched on March 15, Scott visited a couple of Los Angeles retailers to celebrate, Stromberg said. To promote Cacti, Anheuser-Busch posted about the brand on its owned channels, as well as working with Scott and his team to develop social media posts. 

Anheuser-Busch also worked with Scott’s team to pitch the media in advance of Cacti’s launch.

Within 12 hours of its debut, Cacti had sold out its entire online inventory. The brand went on to sell more in its first week than any variety pack in Anheuser-Busch history.

The collaboration led to 463 earned media placements, including coverage in Rolling Stone, Billboard, CNBC, Complex and Forbes.  

The results on social media were similarly explosive: Cacti is currently the most followed Anheuser-Busch brand on social media. With more than 629,000 followers on Instagram, it’s also “one of the most followed alcohol brands on [the platform] in only a few months,” Stromberg said. 

Scott’s Instagram post announcing the brand generated over 1.4 million likes and 7,000 comments. 

This story first appeared on PRWeek US.


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