What happens when alcohol brands get under the influence
What happens when alcohol brands get under the influence

Getting a thorough look into their audience personas will allow them to easily overcome the barriers of advertising restrictions. In turn, leveraging the vast amount of audience data available will assist alcohol brands to target more efficiently than ever before, perfecting their top of the funnel marketing.

As part of The Drum’s (Virtual) Digital Transformation Festival, TAKUMI’s Sales Director, Gary Clarke, Assistant Editor of The Drum, Sam Bradley and Influence Director of Ogilvy, Imogen Coles, sat down to delve deeper into the world of digital influencers and look at their impact in a popular category for the marketing world: Booze.

Here we share some of the key takeaway points from TAKUMI:

The way drink brands market themselves has changed drastically over the past few years, how has this changed?

“With many drink brands collaborating with content creators to produce or promote sponsored content, how they have adapted using influencers has changed rapidly over the last 10 years.

Many alcohol brands focused historically on large campaigns and broad messaging that spoke to everybody rather than niche communities.

However, we more frequently see drink brands collaborating with influencers to help put a face to their brand, which allows them to engage with consumers to develop a sense of community.

At TAKUMI we focus on working with micro-influencers, who have a smaller audience than celebrities or macro-influencers, however, they have a highly engaged loyal following who love their content and trust their opinion. This, in turn, gets the best results for brands and businesses with more engagement, clicks and higher ROI.”

Drink brands have a lot of restriction compared to other sectors, how have influencers helped brands mark themselves responsibly?

“Whilst the industry slowly grapples with gaining ROI; trust and creative control are more important than ever to enable influencers to promote drink brands.

Working with influencers as a source of inspiration and partnering with them in a unique and authentic way, means you have variation in content and can include influencers as part of the creative process.

A great example of how influences help drink brands is a campaign TAKUMI ran with Luksusowa, a Polish vodka company. TAKUMI recruited bartender and mixologist influencers as authentic brand ambassadors to lead their cocktail making challenge.”

“The result was not only beautiful and engaging content but also provided a seal of approval by the experts themselves. Luksusowa repurposed some of the amazing 78 assets across their digital channels. Using influencers that were authentic brand ambassadors was a great way for the brand to safely promote their product.”

Virtual Influencers are being used more frequently, could a drink brand work with a virtual influencer?

“Virtual influencers are becoming a consideration for branded influencer marketing campaigns. Whilst virtual influencers may seem like a safer alternative for brands, it is by no means certain that virtual models are fundamentally easier to use.”

“Drink brands, however, could adapt them to help combat drinking responsibly, as people tend to open up to someone that doesn’t have an opinion.

On the contrary, a key flaw to a drink brand working with a virtual influencer, is how can they genuinely promote a product if they cannot see, touch or drink it?”

With the COVID-19 crisis, agencies are leaving behind big shoots and are in favour of using influencers, how has this been adapted?

“Given the circumstances around COVID-19, brands have been re-looking at their campaign briefs to suit the current climate. For example, an alcohol spirit brand wanted to showcase group scenarios with influencers enjoying libations with friends.

TAKUMI worked in partnership with this alcohol brand to devise a new brief to focus on how influencers were staying safe at home, whether that be connecting with friends over a virtual happy hour or testing there at home mixology skills.

The brand still wanted to maintain their social presence. Looking at the way people are going to be consuming social media over the coming weeks and months, we know they are going to be looking for escapism and something that helps them feel good about the world, which showcased the relevance and importance of still pursuing this campaign.

Marketers looking to embrace social influencers will have to rethink the way they might traditionally work w

ith them, which can serve as an opportunity to try more creative, less product or sales-focused ideas.”

After COVID-19 subsides will we see a change in marketers favouring working with influencers moving forward?

“Over the next few months, influencer marketing will be a powerful way to add light and levity into a scary, tough situation such as the one we are facing.

Influencers are dealing with this unprecedented situation just like all of us, they’re everyday people who are also affected by this disruptive event.

The fact they are able to speak to their community and integrate brand messaging throughout this time is something marketers should consider post-COVID-19.

Content creators already market to your ideal audience across different channels, which allows you to expand your reach across your buyer personas.”

If you would like to watch the full panel discussion you can do so here. Drop us an email at hello@takumi.com if you want to discuss how you can utilise influencer marketing for your alcohol brand.