Regardless of whatever else happened, 2020 has turned out to be the year that Travis Scott proves his branding prowess.
Case in point: In Adweek’s annual ranking of ads, two of the Houston-based rapper’s collaborations made it into the Top 10. His virtual concert in the video game Fortnite, which drew 28 million viewers within the game and 119 million on his YouTube channel, came in at No. 8, while Scott’s partnership with McDonald’s, which led to national product shortages after the chain debuted his signature meal, came in at No. 10.
To round out a banner year, Cactus Jack is announcing yet another brand partnership with the rapper, this time with Anheuser-Busch.
Coming in March 2021, Scott’s new agave-based hard seltzer will be called Cacti and draws inspiration from the fastest growing spirit on the market: tequila. At launch, it’ll be available in lime, pineapple and strawberry flavors—packaged in the classic slim cans we’ve come to associate with the trendy drink, but boasting a higher ABV than most in the category at 7%.
According to Anheuser-Busch’s vp of marketing for beyond beer, Lana Buchanan, it was Scott who introduced AB to the idea.
“He’s a visionary,” Buchanan told Adweek. “He’s someone who wants to always be challenging himself and over-delivering for his fanbase.”
This will mark the seventh hard seltzer brand for Anheuser-Busch, adding to its current offerings of Bon Viv, Bud Light Seltzer, Bud Light Platinum Seltzer, Natural Light Seltzer and Social Club. The sixth, Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer, is scheduled to launch in January.
Still, Cacti is the first of its kind to launch with a celebrity partner like Scott, and the first agave-based seltzer for AB.
“Cacti is something I’m really proud of and have put a ton of work into,” Scott said in a statement. “Me and the team really went in, not only on getting the flavor right, but on thousands of creative [prototypes] on everything from the actual beverage, to the can concept, to the packaging and how it is presented to the world. We always try to convey a feeling in our products.”
Regarding packaging, the seltzers will come in a variety pack of nine 12-ounce cans, as well as 16-ounce and 25-ounce singles in Cacti’s lime and pineapple flavors.
“I’m a big fan of tequila, so I came at it from that angle, too,” he added, referring to the agave base. “I’m really excited to put this out in 2021 and see other people be able to enjoy it.”
In line with Scott’s personal brand, which has often played with otherworldly themes, the campaign for Cacti will be built around the tagline “Down-to-Earth ingredients. Out-of-this-world flavor.”
While plans for the promotion of Cacti are still in the works, Buchanan said AB is working “very closely” with Scott on communication and advertising strategies, and that the alcohol giant will be supporting it “fully, 360 [degrees].”
Cacti will be brewed in Los Angeles and made with premium blue agave from Mexico, according to Anheuser-Busch.