Bayou Rum, a product of Louisiana Spirits, is handmade in the largest privately-owned distillery in the USA, utilizing traditional methods with state-of-the-art technology. The company was founded in 2011, the first rums rolled off the line in May 2013, and distribution quickly grew in the Gulf South region. When Stoli Group USA acquired exclusive distribution rights in 2016, DEVENEY was hired to manage all social media and media relations efforts on behalf of the brand.
DEVENEY identified Bayou Rum’s unique position and tone as a combination of fun, Americana and craftsmanship. We also recognized the brand’s challenge of expanding beyond the stereotypical Southern image. The target audience was determined to be fun loving, all-American males and females, 21 to 40 years of age. We also built a year-long editorial calendar and media database, allowing us to identify target media and opportunities for earned coverage.
From there, we outlined the following objectives:
Over the course of 2016 and 2017, DEVENEY executed the following on behalf of the brand:
OBJECTIVE 1: Increase Bayou Rum’s social media fan base by 50% by the end of 2016.
By the end of 2016, DEVENEY surpassed our original goal of increasing the Facebook fan base by 50%, achieving an 81% increase. The Bayou Bar Crawl concept alone, which ran for nine weeks, garnered over 26,000 organic impressions on Facebook. Instagram growth also exceeded this goal, achieving a 56.2% growth in 2016, garnering 3,123 followers
OBJECTIVE 2: Expand the Facebook fan base by adding three out of state markets to the fan’s Top Cities per Facebook Insights.
The largest fan base DEVENEY grew was in New York, with Houston and Dallas a close second. Miami emerged into the Top Cities chart, and the Bar Crawl campaign solicited many questions regarding distribution locations, providing an opportunity to further engage.
OBJECTIVE 3: Secure at least 400 positive media placements in targeted national outlets and expansion markets by the end of 2017.
By mid-November 2017, DEVENEY secured 406 placements, exceeding our original goal by 1.5%. This includes extensive regional and expansion market coverage, significant representation in the foremost spirits publications, and robust exposure in national publications including Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, and Playboy.
In late October 2017, due to budgetary issues, Stoli USA mandated a hold on all internal and external marketing initiatives for Bayou Rum, which meant that DEVENEY was required to halt all pitching and monitoring efforts for November and December.
OBJECTIVE 4: Coordinate visits to the distillery by at least five targeted national media and influencers each year.
Across two FAM trips, the 15 attendees were a mix of journalists and influencers, including representatives from Playboy, The Daily Meal, Men’s Journal, Forbes, AskMen and Beautiful Booze. influencers and journalists posted several times throughout the trips and generated more than 10 stories as a direct result of the experience. We exceeded our original goal of 10 media by 50%.
OBJECTIVE 5: By the end of Q3 2017, produce at least 25 pieces of original content, with a focus on non-branded cocktail imagery.
We conducted three photo shoots and captured 229 new images of seasonal cocktails and Bayou Rum cakes. Our partnership with FOAP also contributed to our extensive content database, generating over 800 user-submitted images.