WhiskeySmith

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Background:

Whiskeysmith is a craft American whiskey that launched in the fall of 2021 with three initial flavors: banana, chocolate, and pineapple. Since its inception, the brand has expanded its fun and natural flavors to include blood orange, coconut, peach, and salted caramel, adding a fun flair to the world of flavored whiskey. Whiskeysmith encourages drinkers to ‘own the unexpected’ by experimenting with their flavors and embracing versatility.  The brand delights in shock and wants to use that bold aspect of their personality to encourage young drinkers to choose Whiskeysmith- straight, mixed, or in a cocktail.

 

To whiskey purists, this is controversial.  Adding flavors cheapens the whisket experience, and flavored whiskey scoffs in the face of tradition.

The
Problem:

Drinking Flavored Whiskey is Sacrilege.  Life is full of nuance, but not in the world of whiskey.

 

This is a world of opinions, hardcore beliefs, and traditions. Whiskey already has flavor, and it’s enjoyed best *insert 10 million different opinions.*

 

There are rules here - drink it with water, on ice, or only in certain cocktails.

 

People love to argue about which rules are fact.  However, there’s one rule whiskey drinkers can agree on: flavored whiskey breaks them all.

THE STRATEGY:

Encourage drinkers to RELISH IN BLASPHEMY with Whiskeysmith's unique flavors.

THE
MANIFESTO

Whiskey is a religion. 

There are rights. And there are wrongs.

Drink it with water. Don’t drink it with water.

Serve it on ice. Don’t serve it on ice. 

And people love to argue which of them are fact.

But there’s one rule whiskey drinkers can all agree on. 

And that’s that flavored whiskey breaks them all. 

But drinking was never meant to be sacred in the first place. 

Not everyone cares about tradition.

Not everyone shares in this devotion to whiskey.

Some of us just want to drink what we like to drink.

And sometimes that’s sipping on some blood orange whiskey.

Or pounding a shot of salted caramel whiskey.

Because taste should never have to deal with judgment.

Taste should always be between you and yourself. 

And if liking flavored whiskey is a sin.

Then call us sinners.

Because our whiskey is Flavored In Sin.

The Drinker:

A spontaneous and adventurous young adult under 35- but old enough to legally drink in their country of residence- with curious spirits. These are the innovators, the explorers, and the risk-takers.  Our drinkers have little use for luxury goods or status symbols, choosing to direct their money towards experiences that satisfy a greater fear than falling behind the Jones’s- the Fear of Missing Out.  

 

FOMO appears consistently as a decision driver throughout their lives- even when ordering an alcoholic beverage.  This phenomenon influences the WS audience to choose New because “New Is Always Better”, which over time has molded their palette into one that appreciates unique twists on popular flavors.  The WS Drinker is by no means a taste snob though- they’ll trade drinks recommendations with everyone from their BFF to their Bartender or even a Barstool Stranger.  Their chatty ways go behind just WOM though, because this drinker is a digital sharer too.  Their natural curiosity is piqued by unusual things they pass by online.  Combined with the drive to share these discoveries with others means WS drinkers have high social media engagement rates and are persuaded by social media more than their peers.

THE SOLUTION:

What better way to encourage our audience to relish in blasphemy by trying Whiskeysmith’s seven heavenly flavors than through the seven deadly sins?  

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FIRST:

There’s a line between outrageous and absurd - we’re keeping things voluntary and tasteful.

 

To keep this light and fun, the graffiti is actual art located across from Death and Co. in Denver, Colorado, near where WhiskeySmith Headquarters are located.

 

This press would help bring awareness to the Whiskeysmith brand and function as a sign for the mischief to come

Welcome to Temptation, by WhiskeySmith.

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ACTIVATIONS:

We’ll run a year-long, nationwide campaign of pop-up bars, each highlighting one flavor, and one sin. 

 

First, we’ll highlight chocolate Whiskeysmith.

Where better to start than with a toast to sins between the sheets in the city that never sleeps?

New York.

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A pop-up confessional booth in Times Square and Union Square will lure passersby to come in, confess their sins, and in turn receive a map to visit our Hell’s Kitchen pop-up location.  Those who don’t happen to pass by the confessional will also be able to learn about the bar through our digital ads on Instagram, Snapchat, and Tinder.  

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Invitation to the pop-up for those who confess.

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For those who don't pass a confessional booth, Digital ads will help spread awareness via Instagram, Snapchat, and Tinder

Our pop-up embraces sin to the fullest, both in decor and through experience (insert all the creative with little captions explaining).  We know that our fully immersive experience will not only encourage visitors to choose Whiskeysmith the next time they crave an alcoholic beverage, but its instagrammable attributes designed to be shared will encourage all their followers with FOMO to do the same.  

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A Chocolate WhiskeySmith

Pop-Up Bar Mood Board

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A rosary shot glass necklace upon arrival for not-so-holy holy water.

A scarlet letter T-shirt to brand yourself a Whiskeysmith Sinner.

 

A decoy bible to hide a flask full of WhiskeySmith.

GUEST GOODIES INCLUDED:

Our final night of the pop-up, held over Valentine’s Day weekend, will cap off with Industry Night- the perfect opportunity to encourage bar owners, mixologists, and other industry professionals to play with the product themselves and place orders for their own establishments.

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The fun doesn't end when the pop-up moves on though- the campaign lives on in liquor stores through 10 (Drinking) Commandment bottle hangtags and Communion Shooter packs, as well as our Lust Box

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Available exclusively online, filled with the pop-up merch and other sinful surprises, such as a blindfold, chocolate massage oil, and a cocktail pocket bible to recreate signature WhiskeySmith drinks anywhere.

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My Role:

Product Analysis, Industry/Competitive Analysis, Situational Analysis

Deck & Pitch Structure

Experiential Logistics

Cocktail Creation

Legal & Risk Management

Budget

Creative Concept: Seven Deadly Sins

My Team:

Art Director: Chrislin Hearn

Copywriter: Edo Ohayon

Brand Strategist: Hannah Hugeback

Experience Design: Andi Wenck

Download or View

the Entire Presentation - includes detailed Communications Plan (slide 37) & User Journey Map (slide 38)