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Ultimat Vodka Balances Facebook and Viral Video to Drive Brand Awareness

Background:

In targeting white collar professionals with a new campaign for Ultimat Vodka, alcoholic beverage manufacturer Patrón Spirits knew it had to create a program that would catch the group’s attention. The brand, which acquired Ultimat Vodka in 2007, decided on a social media– and video-heavy campaign that encouraged consumers to evaluate their work/life balance.

Objective:

Patrón Spirits, which has recently pumped up its brand portfolio to include brands besides tequila, wanted to drive awareness of its lesser known Polish vodka brand. Because the balance of ingredients—wheat, rye, potato—is what make vodka taste the way it does, the brand wanted to play upon that theme of “balance” and make it relevant for a 9-to-5 working audience. It also wanted to infuse social elements into the campaign, so that consumers would be apt to share it with their friends.

Strategy:

Ultimat’s first step was to create an online video that people would be prone to share with their friends and coworkers. The video’s creative was based on the theme of work/life balance and featured a window washer rising up to the top floors of an office building in lower Manhattan. The window washer surprised office employees with a number of signs that encouraged them to take a break from their work life and “stop working; start drinking.”

“White collar professionals spend a lot of time behind their desks, so leveraging something like video content or a social life audit that they can access through our Facebook page made a lot of sense to us,” explained Jennifer Long, brand director, Patrón Spirits.

The shareability was also a critical component to the decision, Long added. To drive video views, Ultimat ran targeted media buys on Facebook that leveraged the YouTube player. The brand supported the ad buys with blogger and media outreach to generate earned media, as well.

In addition to a viral video, Ultimat launched a Facebook application called Social Life Audit. When users log in to the app, it uses face recognition and check-in technology to crawl through all of that user’s Facebook content. The app then determines—based on how many friends users are pictured with, how often they check in to fun locations, and whether they smile in photos—a social life score. Users can then rank their scores against friends. Ultimat used Facebook Sponsored Stories to promote the app. It also ran pre-roll ads on Hulu and other digital video platforms.

Results:
  • Reached nearly 2 million YouTube views in the first two weeks of the video launch
  • Topped YouTube’s Trends Dashboard 1 Most Viewed video in the US after the July launch
  • Generated more than 550,000 site visits to the Facebook Social Life Audit app
  • Saw users spend more than 4 minutes on average with the app’s results page
  • Received a 270% increase in “likes” during the last quarter
Key Takeaways:

Ultimat is pleased with the outcome of the digital-heavy Work/Life Balance campaign. Long conveyed that video, in particular, paid off for the brand. “Because video is easily shareable, if people come into the brand from say a friend vs. just seeing it in an ad, that seems to be a lot more impactful for consumers,” Long said. “It becomes a form of endorsed media instead of traditional push media.”

Next Steps:

Long said the brand is now applying some of the digital campaign elements to offline events. At events, brand spokespeople will take consumers through the Social Life Audit on iPads. “The hope is that once they do this, they’re going to go back to their friends and talk about how they just took the social life audit,” Long said.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Savvy Shoppers Drive Robust Online Holiday Sales” and “Mobile Web, App Use Up in Egypt.”

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