Smirnoff Promo, Case study NIGHTLIFE EXCHANGE PROJECT by Akqa New York, J. Walter Thompson Nicaragua, Splendid

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Industry Vodka
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Akqa New York
Agency J. Walter Thompson Nicaragua
Executive Creative Director Brian Carley
Creative Director Shirin Majid
Agency Splendid
Released August 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best International PR Campaign
Advertiser: DIAGEO
Creative Director: Shirin Majid (Splendid Communications)
Strategy Director: Andy Bellass (Splendid Communications)
Client Services Director: Niki Hunter (Splendid Communications)
UK Managing Director, London: Alec Samways (Splendid Communications)
Australia Managing Director, Sydney: Annalise Brown (Splendid Communications)
Senior Account Manager: Haran Ramachandran (Splendid Communications)
Account Manager: Becca Graham (Splendid Communications)
Digital Account Manager: Linda Lee (Splendid Communications)
Associate Director: Naomi Proudlove (Splendid Communications)
Executive Creative Director: Matt MacDonald (JWT)
Global Business Director: Amy Frisch (JWT)
Senior Account Director: Chris Stempky (AKQA)
Senior Creative: Seth Rementer (AKQA)
Vice President Campaign Development: Tyler Starrine (DEI Worldwide)
Executive Vice President Client Strategy & Outreach: Karen Ticktin (DEI Worldwide)
Founder and Chief Strategist: Spencer Baim (Virtue)
Project Director: Evan Confield (Virtue)
Media placement: Interviews & Photocall With Curator - Australia Inc. Sunday Telegraph, MX Sydney, Scene Magazine, MX Melbourne, 3D Wor - 13th September 2010
Media placement: Interviews & Photocall With Curator - India Inc. The Indian Express, NIE Expresso, Amari Katha, Dainik Jagran, Mahka B - 13th September 2010
Media placement: Interviews & Photocall With Curator - Argentina Inc. Lanació, Latin Spots, Rolling Stone Online, OhLalá! Online, - 13th September 2010
Media placement: Press Release To Reveal Country Swap - S. Aftrca Inc. 5 FM,,,, - 22nd October 2010
Media placement: Press Release To Reveal Country Swap - Lebanon Inc.,,, Absolute Beirut, Tod - 22nd October 2010
Media placement: Press Release To Reveal Country Swap - Canada Inc. Examiner, Globe & Mail,,, Van - 22nd October 2010
Media placement: Event Listings And Reviews - Brazil Inc. Yahoo Brasil, Metropolitana, Oi, Jornal Destak - SP, Guia - Divirta - 1st Nov To 28th Nov 2010
Media placement: Event Listings And Reviews - GB Inc. The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Star, Daily Telegraph, MSN Music, Y - 1st Nov To 28th Nov 2010
Media placement: Event Listings And Reviews - Thailand Inc. Get กึ๋น, Krungthep Turakij, Volume Magazine, BK Magazine, You & M - 1st Nov To 28th Nov 2010
Summary of the Campaign
To celebrate worldwide nightlife culture, The Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project asked: "What makes your country’s nightlife the best in the world?" Rallied by curators in 14 countries, Facebook users submitted 33,000 suggestions, from local music artists to cocktail recipes. The best ideas were packed into crates, exchanged between pairs of countries and then brought to life in 14 events on 27th November 2010 with "The day the world swapped nights."
To position Smirnoff as a world leader in nightlife with a single brand idea that could be delivered across many countries with varying levels of PR expertise.
- Deliver worldwide awareness and credibility for Smirnoff in the nightlife arena.
- Inspire consumers to get involved on Facebook.
- Establish media credibility and relevance using respected nightlife figures as 'curators'.
- Provide a global PR plan for markets, to ensure best practice and consistency of messaging across the world.
- Build consumer excitement and participation with a phased media campaign.
The most successful global PR campaign in Smirnoff history securing 1,698 media hits with 323 million OTS and 60% online community growth.
The Situation
Smirnoff undertakes many successful nightlife initiatives around the world, but typically only gains attention from local media.
As niche, local competitors launch in the vodka category, and with many brands now targeting the nightlife arena, there was a need for the world’s number one selling premium vodka to confirm its position as the world’s number one alcohol brand within nightlife. With the growing importance of Facebook as a place for consumers to plan and share their enjoyment of nights out, there was an opportunity to achieve mass consumer participation with the campaign in this platform.
The Goal
- Increase credibility for Smirnoff in the nightlife arena via positive coverage in relevant media and by influential 3rd party endorsement.
- Drive consumers to join the Smirnoff Facebook community and participate by submitting ideas, voting, applying for tickets and viewing content from the events.
- Confirm the global scale and leadership of Smirnoff.
Target audience:
- Consumers of legal purchase age to 28.
- Online tools to source key global online influencers (media, bloggers, YouTube users) and identify mass/niche communities in social media.
- Sentiment Metrics to monitor coverage/conversation and continually refine outreach strategy to maximize results.
The Strategy
Online research tools, along with our 'on the ground' experience and influencer network in 5 key countries, led us to the insight that a 'usual night out' for a person in one country is a unique 'Be There' experience for someone from another country.
We also believe that nightlife is becoming an increasingly international interest for our target consumer, which led to the Nightlife Exchange idea.
This PR campaign was flexible for local markets and therefore resulted in an impressive 14 countries committing. This made it essential for us to deliver a robust 'toolkit', with great activation assets and clear guidelines.
One key area for our guidelines and ongoing support was securing a curator for each country to act as a credible media spokesperson.
Our toolkit was followed up by weekly market calls and this ensured a synchronised roll-out of the story and consistent messaging.
The campaign ran for 3 months in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, GB, Germany, India, Ireland, Lebanon, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, USA and Venezuela.
We launched on 13th September, placing our curators in one-to-one media interviews.
A media photo-call used a branded 'crate' to symbolise the notion of packing up and swapping the best local nightlife with another country. Media coverage therefore showed a strong branded visual supporting a call for the public to 'like' the Smirnoff Facebook page and suggest ways to share the best of their country’s nightlife.
On October 22nd, we revealed the country pairs that would swap nightlife, along with key details of the event to drive ticket applications.
As the 27th November finale approached, we drip-fed a series of event updates and an announcement that those not attending the live event could experience a 'virtual exchange' on Facebook.
Amazingly, our campaign ran to the original plan!
Documented Results
The campaign successfully generated positive branded coverage, attracted new Facebook fans and generated awareness that culminated in a large turnout at the live events and the virtual exchange on Facebook:
- A total of 1,698 pieces of branded coverage globally with total OTS of over 323 million.
- An innovative global blogger summit generated 406 hits with an OTS of over 5.5million.
- Over 1 million new Facebook fans were acquired resulting in 33,000 idea submissions.
- A 60% increase in the Smirnoff global online community to 3.2 million.
- Over 130,000 people experienced the event by either attending live or joining the virtual exchange on Facebook.