Have you noticed that a particular beverage of an appetizing, photogenic rust orangey hue has inundated your Instagram feed this summer? The mighty Aperol Spritz.
Ok, but like, what’s the deal here? Consider this our official investigation.
A Classic, But Also a Trend
We first caught wind of this phenomenon when Sarah Owen, senior editor at WGSN, casually mentioned it at our visual trends event a couple of weeks ago. My ears perked up, maybe a little bit because I couldn’t fathom the thought of rosé being dethroned as summertime’s choice beverage, but also because it piqued my curiosity. Here at DH, we’re always on patrol for the next Insta bait, and so here we are.
As hordes of influencers descend upon the mythical Amalfi coast summer after summer, it was bound to happen: the iconic Italian tipple has crawled back into mixology’s trendy graces. You see, it’s the stuff of Instagram content dreams — picture its color, for instance: a beautiful rusty orange shade, almost like an amusing nod to the hues of the southern Italian landscape, notably its bright parasol-ridden beaches. Its mere appearance captures the essence of coastal Italy, in spite of it originating in the northern city of Padua.
An Aperol Spritz looks refreshing, appetizing, and pretty in a pic, and in a universe ruled by content creation, a photogenic disposition is what drives viral success — let’s be honest. Plus if it catches the attention of the almighty New York Times, then you know you need to be paying attention. It’s officially a thing.
Our inquisitiveness for rising trends is now leading us to assume our sleuth hats and investigate this Instagram matter.
When Influencer Marketing Works
The cocktail might have been an Italian staple since the fifties, but it’s only recently been making the rounds stateside. We suspect its earlier dissected appearance for that — its Insta-worthy shareability is inarguable. Something so photogenic could only remain obscure for so long when we’re living our best lives according to the ‘Gram.
It was only a matter of time before la orange dolce vita came beckoning, entering our orbits through some good old fashioned tactical influencer marketing. The likes of pro travelers, lifestyle tastemakers and fashion bloggers have been seen gallivanting about their summer affairs with Aperol spritzes front and center in their social documentation.
While most of the prominent posts and Stories featuring the drink have been accompanied by a conspicuous #ad, no one seemed phased by the fact that Campari, maker of Aperol, was engaging in a widesread, guerilla-like takeover of our socialverse. Unlike fashion items that can garner consumer fatigue once they’ve been seen donned ad nauseam on Instagram, this widespread omnipresence has only fueled the fire.
People’s desire for an Aperol Spritz is at an all-time high. The New York Times reports that “Aperol sales rose 48 percent since last summer.” Cowabunga! Perhaps we can also give a bit of credit to the surge of mixology and the Millennial’s enthusiasm for a crafted cocktail (another Instagram-rooted trend, possibly? People needed pretty cocktails for, you know, content).
Either way, the Aperol Spritz is in our summer lives, whether you’re here in the US of A or traipsing around the beverage’s equally (if not more) photogenic Italian coast for all of the ‘Gram to see. Which brings us to our ultimate point: it’s pretty fair to say that something reaches ubiquity once it become Insta bait, right?
The #AperolSpritz hashtag currently sits at over 871K posts, just begging to cross the million mark. The @AperolUSA (aka the territory that’s targeted heavily by the company’s marketing efforts) Instagram account has been tagged in almost one thousand posts since the beginning of June. And while the account stands at a respectable 25.7K follower, it was at under 18K in the fall.
All that paid UGC is, well, paying off, and also encouraging other regular Insta folk to snap and share their Aperol Spritz moments. Below is a screenshot of a fraction of the user-generated media in which @aperolusa was tagged over the summer. Here here!
Now to fully maximize all of that UGC, @aperolusa could do a search in our visual intelligence software and select to populate the results by order of top performers. The social team would then know that those high-quality shots would garner high engagement if they were to regram them.
Once something takes off on Instagram, it becomes hard to ignore its significance in pop culture. The Aperol Spritz team has done a stellar job at instilling the iconic beverage in the modern American collective psyche, with strong targeted social campaigns and smart influencer choices that have proved exceedingly effective.
HT to Aperol and now don’t mind if we do. Cheers!