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Success Story

Mike’s Hard Lemonade delivered a refreshing, uplifting take on the news.


The brief

In a market saturated with spiked seltzers and other beverages, Mike’s Hard Lemonade wanted to remind millennials of how refreshing the original flavored adult drink is.

Our stance? Refreshment doesn’t just come in a bottle.


The strategy

Experts in media and psychology have found that positive news stories empower readers with “three key psychological ingredients: optimism, hope, and self-advocacy,” giving the brain that “ahhhhh” feeling.

Refreshment doesn’t just come in a bottle.

While the Washington Post is famous for hard-hitting stories and exposés, our journalists are also experts at reporting uplifting news, from the global decrease in extreme poverty to personal stories of kindness and triumph. And our Creative Group knows how to engage an audience.

The Good News Effect brought Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s value to the forefront in ways that delighted and refreshed our audience. We invited readers to experience the power of positive stories for themselves. As they watched videos of puppies and family reunions, our first-to-market emotion recognition technology recorded their reactions and micro-expressions to gauge the uptick in happiness.

Bringing joy to the streets of NYC.

A one-day pop-up event in New York City helped 800+ lucky visitors take a break to enjoy the emotion tech, games, and free product.

The happy news destination.

To keep the good vibes going, we created a happy news destination to collect uplifting WaPo content in one bright, Mike’s branded, easy-to-navigate place guaranteed to cheer up readers.



Multiple elements and touchpoints bring our programs to life.

Immersive storytelling

Homepage takeovers

Experiential pop-up event

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The impact

We blew past our benchmarks for both pageviews and unique viewers — making a lot of people happy. Our custom cross-platform promotional media generated shares and buzz, including a feature in AdWeek.

There was over 277k additional potential social reach generated when 800+ pop-up event attendees brightened their day with 1,300+ free MHL products.


Social reach


Event attendees



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