CAMPAIGNS: Branding PR - Teutonic tonic on US bus campaign

Client: Jagermeister (Wofenbuttel, Germany)

Client: Jagermeister (Wofenbuttel, Germany)

Client: Jagermeister (Wofenbuttel, Germany)

PR Team: Sidney Frank Importing (New Rochelle, NY)

Campaign: Spot the Jager Bus

Time Frame: March 2000 - ongoing

Budget: dollars 1,000,000 a year (first year included bus purchase).

Jagermeister is a renowned liquor in Germany that is used to soothe the belly and aid digestion. It's gaining popularity in the US as a shot drink, and some inventive, highly stylized mixed drinks have been created to help customers appreciate the taste.

With many mainstream consumers just beginning to recognize the name and enjoy the liquor, Jagermeister wanted to heighten its presence where consumers gather and increase the number of visitors to and its linked Web site,


Sidney Frank Importing decided the best way to raise visibility and increase the number of discerning consumers to try the drink - and enjoy it - was to hit the road.

'Our goal was to increase brand awareness, draw customers to the Web site and thank our distributors' says Debra Porter, SVP at Sidney Frank Importing.

The Sidney Frank team put four Jager buses - RVs decked with Jagermeister art and logos - on the road to establish personal contact with as many consumers as possible.

Before the Jagermeister buses rolled, a press release was issued to local print media in towns with venues that would host the buses announcing the 'theft' of the brand new Jagermeister bus. A complete description and its last known location were included.

Unnamed sources were quoted on the direction the thieves were headed.

The release asked that people log on to the Web site and send an e-mail when the bus was spotted. Prizes, including T-shirts, hats and CDs, were promised for each sighting reported online.

The bus teams built on this initial excitement by handing out promotional material and cards at every stop that instructed people to visit


Each bus contained a trained team that drove to the doors of small venues, such as bars and liquor stores, and appeared at big outdoor events, such as concerts, pro ball games and car races.

According to Eileen Almanzar, PR coordinator at Sidney Frank, the teams had to have excellent people skills and be able to cook so as to reward distributors and bar owners with five-course gourmet meals.

Web traffic was increased by the bus team posting digital images of customers on


Texas' Southwest Digest, the daily Tampa Tribune, Miami's Southern Beverage Journal and the Beverage Analyst ran in-depth articles.

But the biggest PR gain was the excitement created by the bus teams.

From March to September, visits to the Web site increased by 72% and the database of interested consumers grew by 30%.

The company says there are no sales figures directly tying increases to the campaign, but sales are up and Jagermeister execs feel the bus campaign has had a positive impact.


The campaign will continue indefinitely.

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