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frankies lab project

What every business can learn from Dry July



During July, thousands of Aussies gave up booze for Dry July to raise money for people affected by cancer. Dry July regularly attracts a lot of buzz on social media as participants share their efforts of going sober for a month.  

The campaign provides interesting insights into user behaviour that businesses can leverage to build stronger brand awareness. If your business offers a product or service that supports people’s preferred version of themselves, they will use your brand to project this image. 

Dry July is part of a growing consumer trend of being sober curious. Consumers embrace mindful drinking as a lifestyle choice and want to share this change with their friends, family and followers.  Hashtags such as #soberissexy #sobercurious and #hangoverfree are consistently trending, and accompanying images show healthy, empowered users getting more out of everyday life. 

When McGuigans Wine entered the alcohol-free market last year, Dry July represented an opportunity to leverage a trend for audience engagement through social listening. This is a process of monitoring social media channels for mentions about your brand, competitors or a topic relevant to your company. 

Some may ask, what’s the point of alcohol-free wine and that’s what makes this trend so interesting. It polarised users – some of them loved it while others hated it. But everyone wanted to comment on it. 


We had users doing Instagram Live reviews and sharing multiple posts showcasing McGuigan wine in their everyday lives. Others filmed videos where they spoke of their delight that they could enjoy a glass of wine without the guilt. We also had customers share heartfelt stories of how it made them feel more included at social events. 

The content was always emotive. Even when there were negative comments, other users would get involved in the conversation. This is a social media manager’s dream. We attracted regular organic user generated content, strong conversations, and shares across multiple features of the different platforms. 

Companies have an opportunity to interact with their audiences to encourage continued brand allegiance. By nurturing customers who interact with their brand, they can become even greater brand advocates.  

The lesson is to take the opportunity to have a conversation with your customers, ask questions and see if you can get them to re-engage with you at later times. You’ve already put all the hard work into creating a product you believe in, so why not let your customer share your value?  

Remember: your business is selling a product, but your customer is buying their experience. Emotions are a leading factor in purchasing decisions, and it’s key that brands tap into this.  With consumers constantly sharing their thoughts on social media, it makes sense for a business to understand the public’s views of their products. 

Social Media can help get your story out to your audience, but as importantly it gives businesses an opportunity to listen to the stories of their customers and find ways to join that conversation.