Plymouth Gin - Raising social awareness of an iconic brand
Plymouth Gin is a 226-year-old heritage gin brand distilled in Plymouth, England. Known for its superb mixability in cocktails, Plymouth is beloved by bartenders and consumers alike.
In 2017, Plymouth Gin’s US-based team sought to present a more premium aesthetic on Instagram – one that would be more befitting of its product. The previous model had been to create content at one-off shoots and events and the look and quality was not consistent. In order to visually tell the story of the brand, its application and its consumers, Plymouth needed a strategic solution. How could they find a sustainable source of quality content to visually tell the brand story?
In today’s digital world, many brands mistakenly believe that they have a content problem. While not having content is a problem, the larger problem is not having a strategy for creating and distributing content.
The traditional agency model relies upon outsourcing creative services to freelance partners on a project basis. When creating content is viewed as a series of individual projects, the result can be both expensive and inconsistent. Additionally, to present a variety of images, multiple environments (and multiple shoots) are often required.
Few agencies create content fully in-house, which means that few brands can rely upon just one source for content.
In October 2017, Plymouth Gin hired Ford Media Lab for full-service social media management and 100% in-house content creation. After developing a strategic content plan to align with the brand’s consumer engagement platform, the first step was to archive all existing content and immediately begin populating the grid with fresh imagery in a white-border, gallery format. All photography was captured by FML, shot in a consistent style and edited for coherence.
Recognizing that bartenders were unapologetic advocates for the brand, FML utilized their contacts, as well as Plymouth’s global brand ambassador team, to coordinate the capture of content featuring the trade across the US and in the UK. By incorporating bartenders and their drinks into the content strategy, Plymouth Gin celebrated its brand champions while highlighting how they use the product.
Bartenders and consumers began engaging with the content at a higher rate, sharing recipes and inspiring a recipe story highlight to collect and share practical uses of Plymouth Gin. The content was both sustainable and renewable, as the brand received on-going interest in participation and referrals to additional content sources.
Because FML was solely responsible for content, they were available to accommodate and react to cultural trends and on-the-fly requests, allowing the look and feel of the page to adapt in real time.
From October 2017 to June 2019:
3.2% engagement rate per impression
Obtainment of blue verification checkmark on Instagram
A library of nearly 300 professionally-edited, consistent images of varied subject matter for multi-purpose brand use
A collection of brand testimonials and cocktail recipes straight from the strongest brand advocates