Client: Rebecca Creek Distillery (San Antonio, TX)
Agency: Concussion (Forth Worth, TX)
Campaign: Enchanted Rock Vodka Launch
Duration: January – March 2011
Budget: about $4,500
Texas-based Rebecca Creek Distillery asked Concussion, which has worked with the company on various PR projects, to develop a media relations-based campaign to help promote its ultra premium Enchanted Rock Vodka in the Texas market shortly after it launched late last year. Brian Lowrance, co-owner of Rebecca Creek, says PR was the most effective way to drive awareness of the new brand among the general public and owners of liquor stores, bars, and restaurants.
Claire Bloxom, PR specialist at Concussion, says differentiation was key as the “Texas-made” spirits category is highly competitive, and Enchanted Rock was the fourth Texas distilled ultra premium vodka to hit the market.
Lowrance explains that the distilling process often involves dumping large amounts of water. Rebecca Creek created a specially designed filtration and water system that is much more environmentally friendly. Driving this green aspect in tandem with Texas-made messaging differentiated the brand and helped raise awareness among key media, bloggers, and social media audiences.
The team pitched all daily papers in major markets, business journals, and regional lifestyle magazines. Lifestyle, and food and beverage bloggers were also targeted. Samples were offered for review.
Bloxom says pitching the green aspect of the vodka to a local edition of Dailycandy.com caught the attention of the site's national editor, who is a contributing guest on “Today,” and landed Enchanted Rock on a “Today” segment.
Various bars and restaurants hosted promotional events throughout the campaign. Event information, as well as media coverage, was posted on Facebook and Twitter.
Bloxom adds that Enchanted Rock was certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture's “Go Texan” program, which recognizes and promotes Texas-based agricultural businesses, nationally, and internationally.
The campaign garnered 21 stories in local and regional outlets in addition to the “Today” coverage. Lowrance reports month-over-month average sales increased 42% from January to February and 19% from February to March. As of April, he adds an industry sales report shows Enchanted Rock ranked No. 35 out of 300 vodka brands.
“In the liquor business, [these results] are quite amazing for a new brand,” Lowrance says. “The amount of response we got from liquor stores also gave us the ability to get more shelf space and more bottles in stores.”
The team is now focused on online promotion of Enchanted Rock via Facebook and online ads, and is also preparing for a new whiskey launch later this summer.