Located on the banks of the Thames, the Somerset House Terrace Bar location is partnering with San Miguel for the third time. With this being London's first restriction-free summer in two years, Dharmesh Rana, director of marketing, World Beer at Carlsberg Marston's Brewing Company wanted to offer a space where people can spend time with those closest to them to enjoy a San Miguel in the sunshine.
Rana says: "This year we have focused on celebrating San Miguel's Spanish roots meaning groups of friends, family or colleagues can enjoy authentic tapas dishes, sundown saxophonist sessions in June and Spanish-inspired San Miguel cocktails and enjoy a slice of Spain in the heart of London."
San Miguel is not alone in seeking out the opportunity to deliver an on-trade brand experience. Malfy Gin, Corona and Sanpellegrino are just some of the brands to have already launched summer experiences, with more expected in the coming months. The appeals of on-trade include the ability to guarantee a targeted consumer, the established expectations held about the venue, and supporting the recovery of the hospitality industry.
Rana continues: "Somerset House is an iconic contemporary arts and culture centre in the heart of London. We are proud to be in the third year of the partnership, which enables the San Miguel brand to enter credibly into the arts world and cement its proposition that experiences are more important than material possessions.
"We are very proud of the Terrace Bar and our wider partnership with Somerset House that spans the music festival Summer Series in the courtyard in July as well."
Working with a location that matched well with an Italian experience was key for Michela Tasso, brand manager, Sanpellegrino UK. To launch its new premium mixers range the Italian sparkling drinks brand opened a pop-up Piazza bar at Eataly. The two-month residency will be dishing up music, pizza and cocktails.
Tasso explains: "Italian by nature, the new Sanpellegrino mixers range is designed to bring people together the Italian way through the traditional aperitivo drinking occasion. So, where better to come together than the UK's largest Italian food market, Eataly?
"Whether popping in for an aperitivo or settling down for a night with friends, the new Sanpellegrino Piazza Bar provides a vibrant setting for 'aperitivo moments' while bringing a touch of Italian culture to the heart of the city."
Last year, Haygarth was challenged by Heineken to transform its Birra Moretti's ATL platform "The home of life's simple pleasures" into an on-trade campaign that cemented Birra Moretti as the most authentic and premium Italian beer.
Taking inspiration from its Italian heritage, 25 pubs and bars were transformed with rustic branded Birra Moretti swing seats, lanterns and olive and lemon trees.
To communicate the proposition of the beer being shared with food, businesses were provided with a kit to host an authentic Italian Pizza Masterclass including a pizza oven, branded aprons, pizza boards, cutters and chopping boards.
Anthony Donaldson, chief strategy officer, Haygarth, says: "The most important thing is understanding the needs of the trade customers themselves – the pub, bar and restaurant companies have their own competitive challenges and are often addressing very different consumer segments and types of on-trade occasion.
"Whether family pubs, premium locals or high-end bars – each chain and type of outlet will be looking to achieve different things. They always view brand activations through this lens and assess how these types of brand activations will contribute to driving additional footfall, create new reasons to visit or increase the average spend of their customers.
"It is only through understanding this and the needs of each customer that brands can demonstrate the 'triple win' for trade customer, consumer and brand that any on-trade activity needs to deliver. Taking care to create strategies that do this is the only way to create successful on-trade experiences.
"It is why Birra Moretti crafted an experience that used its link with authentic Italian food as a way to elevate a visit to the pub. It was easy for participating pubs to lay on, enhanced the experience of customers and allowed Birra Moretti to gain additional visibility and relevance where it matters most."
From May until September, Malfy Gin is giving consumers a taste of the Mediterranean with its summer terrace at Megan's on Clapham Common, reminiscent of an Italian lemon grove.
There is an aperitivo hour running daily offering G&Ts, a Mediterranean-inspired menu and Instagram moments including a selfie mirror and Malfy swinging "loveseat".
This type of presence gives the brands the opportunity to greet consumers in a place when they are open to learning about new drinks, snacks and cuisine, explains Donaldson.
He adds: "Not only is it a huge channel in itself but what we experience there has a strong influence on what we then buy in supermarkets and elsewhere – look at the growth of Aperol that began in on-trade and has inspired a whole 'spritz' at home category."
Perhaps beer cocktails will be the next trend following Corona's partnership with Pergola. At Pergola Paraiso, a Tulum-inspired beach club, the beer brand has a special Lagerita on the menu made by mixing El Jimador Reposado, lime and Corona Extra Lager.
As the hospitality industry continues to recover from the pandemic and the restrictions that came along with it, many brands are still focusing on giving support.
Rana adds: "Supporting the hospitality industry remains a key priority for us in the wake of the restrictions brought on by lockdown. Pleasingly the on-trade channel as a whole has rebounded strongly since the start of the year, however there have been many venues that have had to sadly close down for good."
Pubs, bars and restaurants have always been an important part of the experience economy. With table numbers uncapped, music levels turned up and food not viewed as an obligation, the on-trade is embracing its freedom to once again explore the benefits of palling up with a brand.