Thursday, May 31, 2007

This is a great case study of how to make the most of facebook for booze brands.

It's Pimm's 'O Clock! has over 16,000 members and 661 wall posts. Not to mention a very actice picture gallery and discussion board. It's full of innovative drinking solutions, brand enthusiasm, creativity and brand love.

One of my favourite facets of it is the fact that an entire group of people turned on two people who consumed Pimms in the wrong manner.

Pimms hater:

"My relationship with Pimms is over after drinking half a bottle of the stuff...straight... (catch-up before meeting my mates) \"stumbling\".. across something not so nice, trying to make a co-herant 999 call to the police and then trying to give a semi co-herent statement. The Pimms re-appeared later in the night aimed at the porcelin of course..."

Pimms lovers leapt to defend their prized drink:

"You two REALLY don't belong in this group."

it should be civilised with lemonaide and fruit chunks"

"I tried some pimms straight, yeuch!! Not advisable. It's not a drink to be used as a tool for getting drunk, it is highly sophisticated and belongs at cricket matches and garden parties. xxx"

The brand's ATL campaign spreads through the line and is now a part of the modern vernacular. If the brand's aim was to target a younger audience then by Golly they've achieved it! And they will continue to reap their rewards from now on. Focus groups, drinking trends, word of mouth... done.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

From Sailor Jerry's website:

1. Whenever possible, we make our stuff here in the USA - so we're not causing boatloads of global warming emmissions.

2. We make quality shit in classic styles that will look good your whole life if your kids don't steal if first - not the kind of trendy shit you throw away in a year.

3. Because we make more of our stuff here, we rely less on shitty third world factories that have slack environmental rules and treat their employees like dirt.

4. Every goddamn one of our employees bikes or walks to work. If EVERYONE did this, we'd kick global warming's ass from here to shanghai.

5. Our store, office and warehousing in 150 year-old re-habbed buildings - not some cookie cutter suburban office park where farmland used to be.

6. We're a small family-owned company that is not publically traded. So we make rational growth decisions based on our personal passions, beliefs and ideologies, not greed and quarterly profits.

7. And our rum? It's 92 proof, which means you need buy less (and we need to ship less of it) of it to get the job done. Our bottles are simple on purpose - to make recycling easy.

From a supplier in Russia these wall mounted party clocks are good fun. They respond the level of vibe at your house party / bar and measure the type of party you're having. Would make a good piece of branded Ooze.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Courvoisier have used the Mingle Now platform as a way of launching their sweepstake to win VIP tickets to 2007's hottest Music Awards Show in the States. It's a great example of how to embrace social networks, especially ones that are built for LDA+ consumers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I am a very happy user of Love Film (like Netflix but UK based) and was really intrigued when my square Love Film parcel arrived earlier this week. It was bulging with what turned out to be a sample of Cadbury's Bournville chocolate. What a clever way of doing targeted sampling. They obviously knew from my choice of Grand Designs Series 2 Disc A that I had ordered this DVD for my girlfriend... girlfriend's and girls love chocolate. Genius.

I wonder if this would work for some of our brands. You can tailor the brand used for sampling by person, film, film choice history and a whole host of factors. It's not intrusive and offers something unexpected and useful. For instance, Apple Sourz has a link to both Scrubs and Sex and the City through the Appletini...

See the evidence below.

From Not Cot:

"On sleek furniture designs… i fell for the Karim Rashid Veuve Clicquot Loveseat this morning over at Luxist. There’s something about the infinite curves, yet a nice separation of space (with a bottle of bubbly as the border?) that's enticing, and the photography for the piece is beautifully surreal."

Great design. Something worth talking about. Great site from Verve as well. We should be doing things like this for our luxury brands/upper marques and ensure they are featured on sites like This Next and Luxist.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It only has a few members but this facebook group is making its voice heard. They simply don't like the new style glass. Apparently it look effeminate and not like the manly old "baseball bat" design.

"The new "chalice" Stella glass is ruining the noble art of drinking Stella. Why mess with a winning formula? The previous "baseball bat" design was functional and far more appropriate. The new glass is camp and makes you want to drink cooking lager."

I wonder how seriously the guys at Stella will take this.

More marketing innovation from Guinness. Previously we showed Guinness Marmite, the Guinness rugby chair, Guinness Hands, their awesomely clever anamorphic coasters, Guinness Red, their partnership with Le cool and the Guinness blog... now we've got Guinness Wholegrain Bread!

It's been much anticipated but now it's here. From Snackspot:

"Ah thinks the Kaptain, the moanses you told the Snacking Spot of the lack of sightings in the homeland has instead yielded a new reward for the Kaptain. He brings you the Guinness Wholegrain Bread, brew baked in the Northern Ireland by Irwin's bakery. Sampling the bread the Kaptain was rewarded with delicious malty whole wheat tasting trembles. The alkyhols sacrificed in the heats of the oven flames, but the malty beer stenches remaining. The Kaptain wonders if the komarades on foreign shores will enjoy its tastes, he hopes so, he hopes so very much."

"Produced at Irwin's Portadown bakery the bread has an authentic 17 per cent real Guinness content - giving it a richly dark appearance and the unmistakable malty taste of the beer."

Apparently it tastes like dark soda bread and can be bought in Waitrose. Some of the comments also point to the existence of Guinness fudge, which sounds like it didn't go down too well!

To find out more about it read this article from the Irish Times.

It seems that Guinness have updated their thinking and are leveraging their powerful platform with some Marketing Innovation a la John Grant. It's a great way of super charing your brand.

Ages ago I wrote something pretty boring about Facebook and how it's useful etc. Blah, blah, blah.

In the spirit of show, not tell here some more stuff that hopefully illustrates the point rather than making me have to write about it.

This Facebook group has 684 members who all love doing Jaegerbombs. They are mainly from Cape Town and Jo'burg and are basically super charged brand enthusiasts unwittingly doing a great marketing job for whoever sells Jaegermeister and Red Bull in SA. Drinking solutions, market research, sales drives, word of mouth, PR and brand ambassadors. Not sure you need much else. They are even making their own adverts!

Compliant? Debatable.

Effective? No question!

Let go of your brand. Let it be hijacked. Team up with a suitable partner (Red Bull), identify specific groups of people. And watch your brand take off.

Looks like Canadian whisky does have a younger, more webby fan base than people thought.

Recommended, again, on This Next.

Could be a good way to Disccover Canadian Club.

On the subject of recommendation sites I noticed that 3G is recommended on This Next.

Always good to know you've got friends.

Other Beam brands with recommendations are: Hornitos and Maker's Mark.

Our aim should be for all of our brands to be recommended and talked about in these situations more often.

From Slashfood:

"I hadn't touched tequila for the better part of a decade until someone handed me a glass of Patrón in Las Vegas a few years ago. The aged, crystal clear, premium flavor redefined any preconceived notion of tequila that I had, and set a whole new standard for what I would order in the way of tequila from that point on, even in my margaritas.

That said, I was pretty excited to see that they have expanded their line to include a tequila infused with pure coffee essence - Patrón XO Café. Since I haven't tried it yet, I'm hoping Jonathan will do an in-depth review at some point, but in the meantime I'll leave you with a number of drink recipes recommended on their website, which can be found after the jump."

To continue reading the article, comments and numerous recipes click here

This has got to be the way to help launch new SKUs and a super way in general to help seed drinking strategies and word of mouth campaigns.

A while ago I mentioned that we should be aiming to get our brands talked about on major blogs; specifically the likes of NotCot, BoingBoing, Coolhunting, This Next, SlashFood etc.

I was having a look at Slashfood and the first item on their blog was a cocktail recipe that had been posted on This Next about how good Hornitos is.

Have a look at the SlashFood article here.

And the This Next recommendation here.

Here's the text from Slashfood:

"On the weekends at the beach, you're wasting away in Margaritaville. During the week, you're a swanky Rat Packer at the uptown lounge. Honey, it sounds like you're going through a little identity crisis.

Alyson's Margaritatini is just the thing for the swanky, sophisticated beach bums. It's a combination of margarita ingredients, shaken and served (halfway) "up" in stemless glasses like a martini. It's got "none of the melt, all the ole!" Sound good? Not even close. The kicker is a little secret ingredient that you can find out only by clicking through to get the recipe."

What's also interesting is the fact that once you are featured on one big blog it's very often picked up and cross referenced on other blogs and then syndicated out further. This can often lead to blog storms. It's a great way of spreading the word very quickly. In addition because of permalinks people often bring up issues and items of interest from the past. So a PR triumph or failure on a blog will stay fresh and powerful far longer than a standard article in the paper. Plus personal recommendations are often more powerful than articles in papers.

See the cross syndicated article on Hornitos below from Tastespotting:

Word of mouth, the long tail and the power of user recommendations are so important. We should be aiming to encourage and precipitate this kind of activity as much as possible.

NotCot has found this brilliant piece of design and packaging for Absinthe:

"What is one to think when your favorite candy company comes out with an incredibly gorgeous line of absinthe products… with some of the most breathtaking graphics and packaging? Chic City Rats pointed out this collection, and noted that Torino based, Pastiglie Leone is turning 150 this year!"

Great design.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

From Coolhunting:

"Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey, by Tuthilltown Spirits, is the first rye whiskey legally made in New York since prohibition and is fast becoming the connoisseur's drink of choice. At 92 proof, the spirit has a slightly spicy, fruity taste, concocted to compliment sweet vermouth in the classic New York–born cocktail, The Manhattan.

Ground, cooked, fermented and double distilled in Gardiner, NY, the bottles are hand filled, capped, waxed and numbered one at a time in limited numbers.

You can expect their second batch in stores and bars around the New York region in June. For those of you not in the New York area, contact Tuthilltown Spirits to reserve your bottle or even a whole cask."

If you have a prowl around their website it's fun to see you can order your own cask of whiskey. Pictures of hand labelling add to the mystique and sense of craftsmanship as well.

Friday, May 04, 2007

From NotCot:

Reyka Vodka looks amazing and comes with the most charming, engaging packaging and advertising campaign reminiscent of Hendricks and 42 Below.

"Reyka Vodka ~ from iceland ~ their ads on youtube have had me in stitches all morning (watch them all below). Her voice and outfit are ADORABLE… in a hilariously cute kind of way… and the black and white sketchy animated world she exists in is just brilliant. And her poignant arguments make me giggle too much this morning. So, while i can’t say anything about how good the vodka is, the ads certainly make me want to try some… gorgeous bottle as well. Check out their website here, its got some pretty woodblock style graphics."

Each bottle has a different story:

Quite brilliantly the website links to the Icelandic Penis Museum which made us all laugh... some great specimens in there including one with a bottle of Crown Royal inside it!

Crown Royal Penis:

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Muji seems to sell as many refills as it does pens. Schwartz Spices must sell a large proportion of its goods in refill packs as opposed to heavy glass jars.

Maybe this could incorporate something as ecologically friendly as this from Springwise:

Could we experiment by selling our glass bottled booze at a price premium in very stylish bottles and then sell subsequent refill cartons at discounted prices? It would be a great step in the right direction environmentally...

Some wine brands are using Tetra Packs to do this although there is some doubt about their recycling credentials too.

Also, as we have commented previously, non clear glass bottles can't be recycled and often get used as road aggregate... therefore any bottle that isn't clear should be ditched in favour of see through glass or something even more environmentally sound.

This can't be done half heartedly.


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