Contextually relevant content has become a critical asset in the post-cookie world. Using the example of the recent Bombay Sapphire Campaign, Jaime Keller, Brand Director of Bombay Sapphire Gin for North America at Bacardi, explains how experiential marketing campaigns can be used to create contextually relevant content. She also tells Portada about the passion point the campaign is centered on, the type of media used, and how experiential marketing activations are measured.
We now have reached a post-covid “new normal” for experiential marketing. Bacardi’s Bombay Sapphire campaign exemplifies how brands activate and leverage experiential marketing experiences in a post-COVID world (and also a post-cookie world). Portada talked to Jaime Keller, Brand Director of Bombay Sapphire Gin for North America at Bacardi. Keller has over 15 years of experience in the spirits industry and is currently focused on driving the presence and position of Bombay Sapphire in North America.
The Experiential Activation
Bombay Sapphire’s overall campaign is called Saw This, Made This, and at its heart, it invites people to reframe the world around them and see the creativity in the every day—Baccardi’s Sapphire gin brand partners with different celebrities to activate the campaign. In 2023, as the next iteration of the campaign, fashion designer Christian Siriano unveiled the first-of-its-kind cocktail couture gown, inspired by the Bombay Sapphire French 75 cocktail and gin bottle at the designer’s 15th anniversary during a runway show at NYFW (New York Fashion Week). Bombay Sapphire joins a trend of brands getting creative at NYFW and positioning themselves amongst a more fashion-conscious audience. The cocktail couture debut also signaled the release of a three-piece collection by Bombay Sapphire and Siriano (also inspired by iconic cocktails) to be released in time for the holiday season.
Previously, last summer, Bombay Sapphire used a similar concept at experiential marketing events in Miami, Chicago, and San Francisco. These events were based on creative inspirations for bartenders, around the vibrancy of the beach and colors. Each location used an iconic local landmark (Miracle Mile in Chicago and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco). “The campaign is ongoing, and seeing very positive results, ” Keller tells Portada.
Bombay Sapphire joins a trend of brands getting creative at NYFW and positioning themselves amongst a more fashion-conscious audience.
Experiential Marketing: Passion Point Creativity
Keller explains that Bombay Sapphire is “centered around the belief that creativity is everywhere. We are all born with the opportunity to be creative, but over time life gets in the way. What we try to do with this campaign is to reawaken people around this thought.” Keller stresses that for his fashion design, Christian Siriano was inspired by the Bombay Sapphire cocktail.”When he thinks about his output, it is through the lens of fabrics. That is how he creates. We show that inspiration has no limits and comes in many ways.”
Bombay Sapphire employed several influencers to attend the NYFW show and create content. This way, unique content is created around fashion and creativity. These influencers, together with others who attend the show remotely, amplify the content through earned and paid social media. The organic and paid social media posts represent a unique opportunity to distribute contextually relevant content to targeted audiences nationwide.
We show that inspiration has no limits and comes through in many ways.
Depending on the characteristics of the experiential marketing activation, amplification through media will play a different role. “Media plays a role in how we amplify,” says Keller. “We focus on unique ways we communicate with people. We prioritize digital media, including social media, through influencers.”
Keller explains that the “digital component runs nationally. Additionally, we look at focus markets to analyze how to amplify our presence. There is an opportunity to find local and contextual moments. When it makes sense, we leverage OOH media as an exclamation point on experiential and influencer.” As a concrete example in the Christian Siriano NYFW activation, Keller cites that Bombay Sapphire boosted the reach through people in the world of fashion sharing how Christian Siriano inspired them. “They share the message and discuss the product itself.”
There is an opportunity to find local and contextual moments.
Media partners include YouTube, Paramount, and Disney for online video, and Meta for paid social. “Part of the uniqueness of this campaign is that we can create contextually relevant content. That is good for distribution in paid and earned media.” Keller asserts. For instance, as Christian was in New York for Fashion Week, we looked at iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty.” Another media type that Baccardi’s Bombay Sapphire uses is out-of-home. “At major events like NYFW, there are many people from out of town from the fashion world.’ The OOH component is an exclamation on the broader 360 framework where we can showcase Christian’s runway show.” In New York City, Bombay Sapphire used OOH media at the street level, in and around where Fashion Week events were taking place, and where people were coming from and to (including Time Square).
Part of the uniqueness of this campaign is that we can create contextually relevant content; which bodes well for distribution in paid and earned media.
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