Spirit Brands - Relief and Music Campaigns
Tito's Handmade Vodka, Beam Suntory, Bacardi, Johnnie Walker, and Jack Daniels are some of the most prominent names when it comes to donating to disaster relief and other causes, whereas Jack Daniels, Jameson Whiskey, and Bacardi were included as brands who conducted experiential marketing campaigns with musical events.
We had to limit to three case studies in each category because of time constraints, and we did so in order to be able to cover each case study comprehensively.
Below is a deep dive of our findings.
Tito's Homemade Vodka, Beam Suntory, and Bacardi are three spirits brands that committed their efforts and resources for disaster relief activities in the United States.
1- TITO'S VODKA
Tito's Handmade Vodka launched several activities for people who wanted to give back to the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. Their activities included the following:
— They partnered with the American Red Cross to raise donations up to an amount of $50,000.
— They partnered with the Austin Disaster Relief Network and offered their trucks to facilitate the delivery of supplies to affected communities.
— They donated an amount of $10,000 to Austin Pets Alive through their pet cause program, Vodka for Dog People, for the rescue and support of pets and animals.
— They partnered with the Union Square Hospitality Group to support the efforts of Houston Food Bank to provide water, food, and other supplies to those affected by Hurricane Harvey in the southeast Texas region and raised an amount of $59,070 by donating $10 per bottle of drink sold, which they called "Tito's Texas Relief Cocktail".
2- BEAM SUNTORY
Beam Suntory contributed over $100,000 to support disaster relief efforts, such as the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program as well as the employee assistance funds maintained by its distribution partners. Beam Suntory's Japan-based parent company, Suntory Holdings, donated $1 million to the American Red Cross to support their efforts of helping the communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The company, its brands, and its parent company donated an overall sum of over $2 million.
Bacardi donated over $3 million as funds for disaster relief to local agencies to support the communities affected by Hurricane Irma and Maria in Florida, some islands in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Bahamas. Bacardi employees also raised $60,000, which later escalated to $96,000, in a matter of just 8 days, whereas Bacardi's employees in India donated a "vacation day's salary" for their fellow employees in Puerto Rico.
Donations Other Than Disaster Relief
Johnnie Walker, Tito's Handmade Vodka, and Jack Daniels are three liquor brands that have been active in donating to causes other than disaster relief in the United States.
1- JOHNNIE WALKER
Johnnie Walker launched a new logo, Jane Walker, to celebrate Women's History Month, and featured the logo on Johnnie Walker Black Label limited-edition bottle. Proceeds from each bottle of Jane Walker whiskey were donated to those organizations that support women's causes. The total amount donated amounted to $250,000, which included the $150,000 that was to be donated to "the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund and its Monumental Women campaign" and $50,000 on behalf of multiple businesses ran by women and the brand partners. She Should Run was also one of the organizations that received donations from the campaign.
2- TITO'S HANDMADE VODKA
Tito's Handmade Vodka partnered with I Live Here, I Give Here, a nonprofit, to donate to the fundraising event Amplify Austin. As per the partnership, the bars and restaurants that participated in the event served cocktails made with Tito's Vodka, one dollar from each of which was donated to Amplify Austin, which eventually funded over 700 participating nonprofits. Tito's also vowed to match the donations up to $10,000. The fundraising was also open for donation on Tito's website.
3- JACK DANIELS
Jack Daniels, in collaboration with iHeartMedia, started an effort on a national level, named "Rise From The Fire", to collect donations for charities that support the communities affected by fire. Jack Daniels kicked off the fundraising by donating the first $25,000 to their national partner organization, the Fire Family Foundation, and then collected additional donations. A concert series was also launched to allow consumers to attend and support the cause. Apparently, the campaign meant a lot to the brand, as Brand Director, Casey Nelson, stated, "Rise from The Fire ties directly to an important part of Jack Daniel's history, we are honored to aid in the effort to support firefighters and their communities across the country".
Experiential Marketing With Music
Jack Daniels, Jameson Irish Whiskey, and Bacardi have developed experiential marketing campaigns through musical events and partnerships. Their details are given below.
1- JACK DANIELS
Jack Daniels, in partnership with Cult Creatives, set up an art and music event, known by the name of Art Beats + Lyrics. The Dallas event was free to attend and offered 2 complimentary drinks, digital graffiti, a barbershop, cigars, a bar, live DJ, an 8Ball & MJG concert, and an art exhibit. All in all, the event was an experiential marketing success.
A separate Art Beats + Lyrics event was organized in Louisville, which was themed to "capture the original '4 elements of Hip-Hop' which were developed by 80s hip-hop pioneers such as KRS-One and Afrika Bambaataa".
2- JAMESON WHISKEY
Jameson Whiskey has sponsored live music events, e.g. the Best Fest and the Northside Music Festival.
Jameson Whiskey finances the entire Best Fest event themselves and donates the revenue from the sale of tickets to the Jameson Neighbourhood Fund, which subsequently donates to local charities to support local musicians, craft communities, and barmen by providing them with resources and education. The event also serves as a way to cherish the brand's original faithful followers, including whiskey lovers and barmen. The event allows the brand to "generate buzz, both on-site and online with content generated for digital consumption".
The Brooklyn Northside Festival in 2017 attracted over 100,000 attendees and offered activities such as "music, film, food, ideas, and entrepreneurship".
Bacardi appointed the entrepreneur and artist, Swizz Beatz, as their first Global Chief Creative for Culture. Their aim was to "create events, marketing, and social activations with industry influencers. The goal [was] to develop partnerships, activations, and ideas that further incorporate the Bacardi brands into consumer passion points". This was an attempt by the brand to drive cultural relevance.
Other similar ventures from the brand include their partnership with Major Lazer, the musical artist, through which they organized live music events and also launched a new limited-edition Major Lazer rum brand. They also collaborated for a new program, which subsidized studio time for emerging artists from the Caribbean through Spotify streaming. This partnership was named "The Sound of Rum". Bacardi also created a Snapchat filter through this partnership, which was viewed by over 18 million people.