In a growing competitive market, it’s important to use new methods to connect with audiences. More and more that connection is being made through experiences, and agencies and marketers are getting into the swing of creating memories through experience and activations. Here, managing director of Crave Global, Daniel Hopkirk, takes us through Bombay Sapphire’s latest campaign, and why the tangible experience was at the heart of creating a connection.
The new activations, located at Bedford & Soda and The Glass Goose, are a summer gin-drinkers dream. Created by Bombay Sapphire and Crave Global, the campaign called ‘Creations Worth Naming’ allows gin drinkers to create their own concoction and name it.
The event started with an influencer launch lead by experienced mixologist Frankie Walker, and now invites Aucklanders to the two locations to become mixologist’s themselves.
Managing director of Crave Global Daniel Hopkirk says this type of experimental campaign gives the brands the opportunity to create tangible connections. The hope for Bombay it will create memory-based brand recognition in what is a very saturated category.
Those activations are then feeding content onto social media that’s shared with the hashtag ‘#StirCreativityNZ’. In doing this, the campaign reaches more people than just those who visit Bedford & Soda and The Glass Goose.
“With the current landscape, we are really focused on integrated campaign ideas that can hit multiple touchpoints so that we can amplify the experience,” Hopkirk says.
“People don’t necessarily need to go to an event or activation to get the recognition, and that comes down to the viral nature of what we do these days.”
Creative at the core
Crave’s idea of creating a tangible experience worked alongside Bombay’s existing ‘Stir Creativity’ brand platform as the ‘Name Your Creation’ campaign aims to make the consumers the creatives and in doing so would make it more meaningful for those creators.
“Bombay Sapphire’s brand platform is ‘Stir Creativity’, and that’s what we are trying to bring to life,” says Hopkirk. “The challenge for us as an agency was how do we work that into Auckland’s bar scene and create something that consumers can interact with on a daily basis over a longer time period, rather than at a one-off event.”
“The thought is if you create and name something yourself, you have put your stamp on it,” says Hopkirk. “That’s what we’re trying to do within these spaces is get people to create their own spin on the classic G&T. And we hope that they will create something so good they want to share it.”
The campaign was strategically timed for summer, which is arguably the best season to make gin-based creations. The category has seen year on year growth and has seen more brands come on to the scene in the shape of ScapeGrace, Ecology & Co and Gordon’s Pink Gin which took the sector by storm in 2018. Hopkirk says in a heavily saturated category it is important to focus on experiences as the key driver in sales.
“So far Bombay Sapphire sales have been going through the roof, with both venues reporting a marked increase,” says Hopkirk. “But in saying that it isn’t just about the sales, it’s also about driving awareness and building brand love too. By getting people to become the creator we hope we are creating lasting memories and fuelling their creativity.”
Nicola Fenwick, senior brand manager for Lion, parent distributor of Bombay Sapphire, says the customers took well to the challenge and engagement with the brand increased.
“The ‘Creations Worth Naming’ campaign is a celebration of creativity and we hope that experimenting with our edible paint and exotic garnishes will engage gin lovers this summer in a fun and unique way.”
Tangible and ‘gramable
Hopkirk says Crave Global does a lot of experience-based campaigns that drive brand recognition, yet for him, it isn’t just normal advertising or experiences that drive the best results, but a mixture of both to target different levels.
“You have to attach brands to things that are tangible, otherwise you’re just throwing ads at people. So we have to think about making this real for people. We talk a lot about creating that through human interaction so people can engage with a brand and create a feeling or emotion.
“Normal advertising can do that as well, but experiences add different levels to it. I think we are about to see a lot more brand experience campaigns, and there will be a shift with marketers as consumer behaviours shifts too.”
The ‘Creations Worth Naming’ campaign’s success is evident through the amount of sharing and promotion it has had through social media by those making their own concoctions. For Hopkirk, that is an integral part of an experience, the recommendations.
“Once people try something and have a positive experience, they’re more likely to tell their friends about it rather than if they just see a billboard. Experiences are something that drives people, and when people have positive interactions they want to tell others about it.”
In the end, Hopkirk says for Bombay and Crave Global it came down to the connection that experiences allow people to have with a brand.
“What we’ve tried to do with the campaign is to make it personal. The dream outcome is that people are getting into it and having fun. The campaign is for the individual, everyone’s flavours will be different and it means people connect really well to their own creativity.”