Black History Month is an important time of year for Martell Cognac. This year, the Pernod Ricard spirits brand took its activism and community involvement work to Clubhouse, hosting a series of conversations with Karen Civil, a creator and digital marketing strategist with more than 1 million followers on Clubhouse.
Megan Stroud, brand director for tequilas, cognac, and cultural marketing at spirits marketer Pernod Ricard, shared how the brand developed the idea and what it learned by using Clubhouse.
The initiative focused on female entrepreneurs in the Black community. “For the past few years, Martell has been really involved in Black History Month. This year, we wanted to do something to raise up those in the community who feel less seen. Where we landed was female entrepreneurs in the Black community—women who had started their own businesses.”
Clubhouse was a fit because of how people were using it. “We saw the rise of Clubhouse and how authentic conversations were happening there. It felt like a good fit to spotlight that community and bring awareness to their own companies.”
Working with a creator was essential. “We chose to partner with Karen Civil, who has an amazing following on Clubhouse already. We wanted to leverage the awareness that an influencer already had to help seed this message, but in a way that was authentic to their voice and in their community.”
Bold Conversations tied into Martell’s larger Black History Month efforts. “Having a robust relationship with Karen Civil, not only through the Clubhouse piece of execution, but for the whole Black History Month program, was really helpful. We sent kits full of materials that were created by the Black entrepreneurs who we were trying to bring to the forefront to all the people that Karen Civil invited onto the Clubhouse stage. The Clubhouse program didn't exist in a silo, and that helped the success.”
It was important for the brand to take a back seat. “One of the things that we felt worked well, and I would probably repeat again, is partnering with someone like Karen Civil. She curated some of the businesses that we chose to partner with. She had the audience and following that she allowed us to be a part of, without being the big, branded elephant in the room. That worked really well, and people didn’t feel like this was a forced branded discussion that was lame.”