The Annex for Mike’s Hard Lemonade: Smile

A new campaign for Mike’s Hard Lemonade focuses on emotion—in particular, happy moments. The Annex, an agency out of Havas Chicago that’s for millennials and by millennials, created the bright-colored ads in an effort to capture the attention of millennial males at their happiest.

“The execution is supposed to make you feel happy when you see it. That’s why it’s based on Internet culture,” Jason Peterson, chairman and chief creative officer of Havas Creative, North America, told The Mag.

Twenty-five to 30-year-old males are Mike’s target sweetspot—a demographic that expects genuine, authentic messages from brands that understand the subculture of young guys.

“It’s a matter of speaking the right language,” Peterson said. “Advertising always gets it wrong and speaks the wrong language to young consumers, so we got young consumers to come work for us and speak the language.”

Each outlandish, slightly irreverent spot reflects that meme, male, millennial culture. The 15-second ads, which include “Arcade,” “Jackpot,” “Rocket Shoes,” and “Smile,” are part of a bigger multichannel advertising campaign that takes a digital-first approach to its TV ads. “We gravitated toward nostalgic and lo-fi, early Internet culture,” Bob Howe senior copywriter at The Annex said. “We took those influences and incorporated them into the loose narratives of the spots.”

In fact, the campaign, “Drink on the Bright Side,” taps into a client insight that’s pretty straightforward. “The insight is simple: Sad people don’t drink Mike’s,” Howe explained. “In the new campaign, we wanted to focus less on the occasion and more on how you feel while you’re enjoying the product.”

Watch each short spot:


Chief Creative Officer, N.A: Jason Peterson

Executive Creative Director: Paul Hirsch

Group Creative Director: Pat Hanna

Senior Copywriter: Bob Howe

Senior Art Director: Andrew Caturano

Co-Head of Production, N.A: Dave Evans

Senior Integrated Producers: Catherine Hudon and Austen Williams

Photographer: Mikey McLenighan

Director of Business Affairs: Bonnie Hamilton

Group Account Director: Chrissy Bouyea

Account Director: Kevin Diedrich

Senior Project Manager: Kevin Zimmerman

Production Company: Gifted Youth

Director: Fatal Farm /Jeffrey Max

Executive Producer: Anthony Ficalora and Dal Wolf

Line Producer: Cary Gillespie

Post Production:

Editorial Company: The Mill

Editor, Company: Charlotte Carr, The Mill

Executive Producer, VFX & Design, Company: Andrew Sommerville, The Mill

Producer, Editorial, Company: Mike Pullan, The Mill

Shoot Supervisor, Company: Theo Maniatis, The Mill

2D Lead Artist, Company:  Andrew Pellicer, The Mill

2D Artist, Company: Dan Frantz, The Mill

3D Artists, Company: Adam Carroll, Jordan Carroll, Ross Scroble, The Mill

Art Director, Company: Matt Darnall, The Mill

Head of Design, Company: Jeff Boddy, The Mill

Designers: Adrian Navarro, Josh Van Praag

Executive Producer, Color: Laurie Adrianopoli, The Mill

Producer, Color: Dan Butler, The Mill

Colorist: Luke Morrison, The Mill

Color Assistants: Mikey Pehanich, Lindsey Mazur

Music Composer Company: duotone audio group & Chicago Recording Studio

Executive Producer: Ross Hopman

Producer: Gio Lobato

Creative Director: Jack Livesey

Sr. Audio Engineer: Ian Scott