Influencer Marketing Social Media

Case Study: How Smirnoff Captured the Millennial Spirit on July 4

July 29, 2014

For many Americans, the summertime months bring family barbecues, long days at the beach and parties with friends. These time-honored traditions are perhaps most prevalent during the July 4 holiday – a day during which people gather together in celebration of U.S. independence.

This July 4, Smirnoff US set out to reach Millennials during the brand’s peak sales window of the year. Using social media to connect with consumers where they were already capturing and sharing the festivities, Smirnoff entered the holiday conversation in a way that delivered tangible value to July 4 celebrants.

360i partnered with Smirnoff US to launch a cross-platform initiative focused on group occasions and easy-to-mix drinks that don’t require a fancy bar kit or a laundry list of complicated ingredients. Utilizing a combination of still photography, videos and GIFs, the effort drove record-breaking engagement across three platforms and bolstered Smirnoff US’ positioning around being an accessible spirits brand for everybody.

Step 1: Inspire Millennial party planners with visual content

For party planners, Smirnoff shared summer punch recipes on Facebook and Pinterest in the weeks leading up to July 4. One of the Facebook posts broke the record for top-performing content of all time, garnering 30x more engagements than the year’s average.

On Instagram, Smirnoff shared colorful “drinkspo” photos (dubbed “drinkstagrams”) which smashed the brand’s prior engagement records on that platform while also driving a 24 percent uptick in followers during the campaign.

Step 2: Get the party started on Vine and Twitter

July 3 and July 4 are critical sales days for Smirnoff US, as people hit the stores to stock up on supplies for their barbecues and parties. With this in mind, we targeted Millennial consumers during the 48-hour window in which we knew they would be planning for American-themed parties – and used Vine and Twitter as a means of generating in the moment excitement.

Following the brand’s influencer-supported launch of @SmirnoffUS on Vine back in April, we partnered with Smirnoff to launch its first brand-created videos on July 3 and 4. The six-second how-to videos combined simple recipe steps and Vine magic to show the fun side of drink culture. One of these Vines (a recipe for spiked iced tea lemonade) went on to become Smirnoff US’ top tweet of all time, garnering 90 percent more interactions than average.

Step 3: Tap influencers to celebrate with Smirnoff US

To extend the conversation with Millennials outside of Smirnoff US’ social communities, we collaborated with bloggers Andrea Duclos (Oh Dear Drea) and Jenni Radosevich (I Spy DIY) to inspire consumers to incorporate Smirnoff vodka into their weekend celebrations. Each influencer shared her respective spin on summer party drinks with recipes featuring flavored vodka in a dedicated blog post and crafty recipe videos.

Photo credit: Oh Dear Drea

On July 4, Duclos took over Smirnoff’s Instagram handle to show off her ‘gram-worthy pool party. The next day, Radosevichshowed off her Independence Day plans by taking Smirnoff Instagram followers aboard a boat cruise, and brought along the most patriotic snack she could think of: watermelon (and of course, Smirnoff Watermelon Flavored Vodka).

The three-step social effort helped Smirnoff reach more Millennials than the brand has ever reached during the same time period, garnering over 30 million impressions across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Vine.

Post by Lessa Chung & Alyssa Palermo