How #JackDanielsHoney Used Social Media To Build Buzz and Launch a Brand

It’s now legal for alcohol brands to buy ads on Twitter, and Jack Daniel’s recently became the first alcoholic beverage to launch a promotion via Twitter, as reported by ClickZ.

The mission: to build buzz surrounding the launch of Jack Daniel’s new Tennessee Honey whiskey product.  The company wanted to keep its reputation as a “social brand” and educate the public about a new product that wasn’t even available yet in many locations.

The method:

  • The company purchased three promoted trends in seven days to generate conversation around the launch, using the hashtag #JackDanielsHoney and the @JackHoney Twitter account
  • Tied to the promoted trends, Jack Daniels used multiple messages in its promoted tweets – some tweets encouraged users who saw the product “in the wild” to tweet their location along with the hashtag, while other tweets drove traffic to content on the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Facebook page and the brand’s regular Facebook page
  • The brand’s Facebook page contained targeted ads and featured ‘teaser’ video content leading up to the launch of the brand’s first TV ad, featuring the “King Bee” mascot
  • The Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey Facebook page (with nearly 1.3 million fans) also posted content to support the Tennessee Honey product launch

To satisfy regulations, Jack Daniel’s-related Facebook activity is only visible to users 21 and over, and all tweets had to include a disclaimer.

Marjorie Dufek, interactive marketing director at Brown-Forman (which owns Jack Daniel’s), told ClickZ that the majority of Jack Daniel’s social media activity is done in-house, as an extension of its consumer relationship program, which has evolved from postal marketing to email and now to social media. 

She did not reveal how much the company paid for three days of promoted trends, or how much was spent overall in digital marketing around the product launch. However, Jack Daniel’s digital ad spending was roughly equal to their TV ad spending for Tennessee Honey.

The results:

  • Twitter reported “significantly higher than average” engagement rates for the campaign
  • Twitter also reported greater use of the brand name within tweets than its advertisers usually experience
  • Jack Daniel’s had the chance to ‘set the benchmark’ for liquor brand advertising on Twitter with Tennessee Honey
  • There was a “fair amount of confusion” about what the actual product was, based on tweets using the hashtag – some asked for more information, others thought it was a honey product rather than a whiskey.  Dufek told ClickZ that this “ambiguous discussion” wasn’t their intention.
  • The promoted tweets generated discussion despite the confusion (or maybe because of it?) and succeeded in creating buzz
  • Jack Daniel’s maintained its brand identity as ‘a friend’ and ‘a very social brand by nature.’
  • @JackHoney gained 1,241 followers, and the Tennessee Honey Facebook page gained over 112,000 fans

The future:

Jack Daniel’s will continue the social aspects of the campaign and also invest ‘heavily’ in digital media over the coming year, and run mobile ad campaigns.

See the article in ClickZ for more details.