Top 5 Holiday Social Media Marketing Campaigns in the Liquor Industry

Forget the eggnog. This holiday season, I decided to take a look at how five high-profile liquor labels are doing social media marketing that gets results. If you like holly, mistletoe, and a strong drink to go with your Facebook time, then this one’s for you. Each of these five brands is driving their content marketing efforts with full force into the holiday season. Check out how they’re doing it and why it works…

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey: Season of Giving

As a Tennessean, it’s only right that I start with Jack Daniel’s. Skip on over to Jack Daniel’s Facebook page to see the holiday cheer that abounds. From the banner image of a truck hauling barrels of Jack through the snow to a picture of 140 whiskey barrels stacked up in the shape of a Christmas tree, Jack Daniel’s has plenty of content to get you in the mood for Christmas (or Jack Daniel’s at least).

The real story, however, is Jack Daniel’s Operation Ride Home, a partnership between the whiskey label and the Armed Services YMCA. Operation Ride Home is bringing 425 military families home for the holidays, and it is asking brand advocates for support. The company started the campaign off by donating $100,000.

The image below had 3,600 ‘Likes’ just one day after it was shared on the Jack Daniel’s Facebook page.

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Southern Comfort: Lifestyle Branding

Southern Comfort isn’t exactly known for being a “classy” drink. In fact, I’ve never even met someone who really knows what it is. (According to Wikipedia, it’s an “American liqueur made from neutral spirits with fruit, spice and whiskey flavorings.” Hmmm…) I think ol’ SoCo is well aware that many people aren’t totally on board with “what” SoCo is, but the brand’s fans certainly do love the stuff.

SoCo plays off of this good-ol’-boy-familiarity with it’s slogan, “Be Comfortable With Your Traditions.” SoCo has fully adapted the slogan to the holiday season on its Facebook page with posts like this one:

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Other Southern Comfort images and taglines include, “If you’re not going to wear a holiday sweater, at least consider a holiday tank top,” and “Be comfortable with your traditions, especially if they involve a small bathing suit,” accompanied by an image of a shirtless, overweight, mustached man, who is (presumably) wearing a small bathing suit outside the frame. SoCo knows its audience, and the brand successfully uses a sense of humor that targets the college-age party crowd.

Patrón Tequila: Social Sharing

Alright, back to the classy brands. In 2010, Ad Age reported that Patrón Spirits Co. had an advertising budget in the $40 million to $50 million range for its tequila label. With a budget like that, Patrón can afford the best content marketing techniques money can buy.

Patrón is currently pushing a social media marketing campaign on its Facebook page that encourages users to share a cocktail recipe on their friends’ timeline. The company’s banner image includes an arrow pointing directly to the ‘Like’ button (which isn’t technically necessary to follow through on if you just want to share a recipe).

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The campaign offers a new drink recipe to share “every day till 2013.” The beautifully designed recipe cards, feature drinks such as “Silver Bells,” “Naughty and Nice,” and “Rosemary Holiday Cup.” What’s not to love?

Grey Goose Vodka: Crossing Platforms

Grey Goose is running a holiday recipe campaign on its Facebook page that’s similar to Patrón’s, but lacks the same strong CTA. There’s never any strong push to have fans share recipes or any other content with their friends. However, Grey Goose does include a shortened URL with each piece of its content that directs the Facebook user back to the official Grey Goose website.

Top 5 Holiday Social Media Marketing Campaigns in the Liquor Industry image Grey Goose 1 300x178

This holiday banner directs Facebook fans back to a page where they can explore all of the 2012 Holiday Collection cocktails. Once a website visitor clicks on a cocktail, they then have the option to Share, Tweet, Pin, or +1 the recipe. Instead of keeping all of the action on the Facebook account (like Patrón), Grey Goose encourages users to come back to its site, and then share through the social media platform of his/her choice.

Smirnoff: Sweepstakes

With 1.95 million ‘Likes’, Smirnoff has the second biggest Facebook presence of any of the brands on this list (Jack Daniel’s has 3.65 million ‘Likes’). Given the brand’s mass appeal, it makes sense that it’s social media marketing strategy focuses on attention-grabbing giveaways like this one:

Top 5 Holiday Social Media Marketing Campaigns in the Liquor Industry image Smirnoff 1 300x185

Despite the fact that Smirnoff is clearly violating Apple’s product promotion policy, the brand has something that’s working for them. Sure, a Massage Envy gift card probably doesn’t boost their image, but it does generate traffic. Smirnoff Facebook visitors are encouraged to click on a shortened link to enter into the sweepstakes where they have to ‘Like’ Smirnoff in order to participate. Not a bad way to generate fans, but the exclusion of mobile-users could dampen the promotion’s potential for success.

Which of these five social media marketing strategies do you like best? Have a favorite that’s not on this list? Share it in the comments section!

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