Alcohol brands are well known for their impressive advertising and marketing campaigns, but when it comes to social media engagement, they’re up against some pretty tough regulatory challenges. Alcohol brands must “age-gate” on their social media channels, meaning those who want to connect and engage with the brand must go through an age verification process first.
However, the daunting industry regulations haven’t held back these dynamic alcohol brands from leveraging social media to create and engage communities around their brand, share content, provide industry thought leadership, and generate brand awareness.
Tell Your Brand’s Story: Jack Daniels
Jack Daniels takes a storytelling approach to social media instead of a selling approach. The whiskey brand often shares powerful imagery and content that have a nostalgic feel, providing fans with a snapshot into the whiskey distillery’s rich history and values. One of their campaigns “The Independence Project” asked fans to submit videos describing their own independent startup or project – focusing on the theme of independence and the freedom Americans have to turn their dreams into reality – reminiscent of when Jack Daniels created his whiskey back in 1866.
Encourage Your Community to Participate: Jim Beam
Jim Beam’s “Bold Choices” campaign encouraged fans to use Facebook, to share stories of the bold choices they had made in their lives. To get into the spirit of the campaign, seventh-generation Beam family distiller, Fred Noe promised he would get a Jim Beam tattoo if the brand got one million friends on Facebook – and they did.
Create a Virtual Vineyard: Argento
Visiting a vineyard, brewery or distillery generates an exciting and memorable experience. Create that experience in your social media channels – where the experience is also your brand’s message. Social media gives marketers the tools to help consumers create or revisit that experience, through engaging Facebook and Twitter posts, or beautiful and interesting videos and photographs – and keeps the conversation and the experience going, as well as keeping your brand front of mind.
Argento Wine makes a huge effort to enhance almost all their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest posts with rich media – YouTube and Vimeo videos, Flickr images, etc. By using this socially curated content, the quality of their posts are enhanced to create a vivid social media experience for their community, and more trafﬁc is driven to the blog via direct social engagement with content originators.
Here’s a beautiful new short film called Cerca del Cielo (close to the sky), created by British filmmaker James Kibbey in collaboration with the Argento Wine Company. The short film follows a day in the life of Argento Winemaker Silvia Corti on a journey from vineyard to table against the stunning backdrop of Mendoza, Argentina.
Be An Industry Thought Leader: Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim winery paired up with Grow Creative and Anvil Media to educate consumers on Reisling wines with a website, rieslingrules.com and a book, the “Riesling Rules Book”, in order to build thought leadership around Riesling wines. They have extended the conversation to their Facebook group to provide their community with frequent posts and updates on Riesling wines and much more – it has over 30,000 likes.
Give Back To The Community: Budweiser
A couple summers ago in cooperation with the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational scholarships to families of fallen or injured soldiers, Budweiser donated $5,000 for every walk-off in major league baseball. They used a custom Facebook landing page to keep a running total of the walk-offs for the year, and how much Budweiser has donated to the foundation. “Walk-off a Hero,” successfully raised $2.5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation.
Leverage Brand Ambassadors: Ciroc
Ciroc uses relevant brand ambassadors that live and breathe Ciroc’s celebratory image, including the likes of PDiddy, to promote brand awareness and community engagement. Their hashtag #IheardDiddy, generated massive buzz around the brand, with fans tweeting things like “#IheardDiddy was the first man on the moon” and “#IheardDiddy single handily beat the 1992 dream team”.
Take It Offline: Bacardi
In 2011, Bacardi launched a “Like It Live, Like It Together” Facebook tab featuring “Like Offs”, that allowed fans to vote for a series of Likes (i.e. pizza truck vs taco truck, hip hop vs new wave) that are mixed and brought to life by Bacardi in a series of unique events held around the world. The Bacardi “Like it Live it” initiative helped the brand’s Facebook page gain over 145,000 fans in the US and just under 300,000 globally.
What are your favorite Alcohol social media marketing campaigns? Tell us in the comments section! For more info on alcohol brands leveraging social media, check out our blog post: 4 Ways for Wineries to Uncork Social Media
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