Snowballs, sledding and hot chocolate soon becomes Netflix, comfort food and wine.
While frantic storm preppers were bum rushing stores up and down the East Coast in anticipation of winter storm Stella this week, Pernod Ricard (marketer of spirit brands Absolut, Chivas Regal, Jameson, Glenlivet et al) was opportunistically pushing them not-so-subtle reminders to consider stocking up on booze.
The brand sprung to action ahead of the storm, pulling API data around nasty weather reports in 10 local markets to dynamically target consumers with online purchase deals and cocktail recipes.
In a highly regulated category, the use of data targeting to focus content is still new. Seeing the opportunity in consumer trends and impacting moments that influence decisions, the brand’s aim was to better engage their consumers and provide more direct means to purchase in moments when demand is spiking.
The program was launched for four of its brands, identifying and targeting consumers with social content on Facebook and Instagram and search content on Google. The content also drove to alcohol delivery service Minibar, encouraging customers to schedule their deliveries before the storm.
The (not very surprising) insight that bad weather prompts consumers to stock up on alcohol, was gleaned from internal research as well as previous weather-based campaigns that Minibar (the brand’s ecomm partner) had run, both of which demonstrated significant lift in spirits sales.
However the plan was not powered by low pressure systems alone. The strategy combined demo (A21+), behavioral and micro-contextual targeting based on hundreds of qualifiers (keywords) related to the brands AND the weather, such as “heavy snow,” “freezing rain,” “sleet,” “extreme wind” and “violent storm.” So, for example, if someone searched “whiskey delivery” or “winter cocktails” on Google, the ad could serve.
The focus of the creative in each instance was weather-centric.
Why Its Hot:
Fusing occasion-driven engagement with real-time conditions to influence action instead of using traditional brand-driven engagement is not a new concept (Oreo’s tweet during SBXLVII’s blackout is a prime example) – but it also takes precise targeting, being relevant with your audience and providing something of perceived value. Sometimes that value can be advice (stay home, don’t drive), a promotion (free next day delivery, save 15%), useful information (recipes, how-to’s) or a simple reminder…like given this forecast, you might need more liquid happy at the ready.
More on the campaign here: https://digiday.com/marketing/pernod-ricard-used-weather-data-target-drinkers-east-coast-blizzard/