ANGOSTURA: Pivoting the social strategy

As COVID-19 intensified, social activity saw some brands remain silent to avoid offense, while others progressed regular programming or adapted content to drive PSA (stay home and healthy) messaging.

Appreciating the impact to the bar/beverage industry and consumers, H+K recommended leveraging ANGOSTURA’s social channels to provide followers with useful information and industry-specific support. Content was quickly adjusted to target two key audiences: The bartenders, many of whom had lost their jobs due to bar and restaurant closures, and bar-goers, who were now stuck at home and likely craving a cocktail.

H+K relied on Instagram stories to provide bartenders with resources such as the USBG’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program and the CPBA Relief Measures Program, both of which provide financial support to hospitality workers who have been laid off due to COVID-19 closures. H+K also leaned into Instagram stories to trend-jack viral, interactive content such as a “fill in the blank” templates that encouraged fans to share their favorite cocktail habits, among others. With extra time on their hands, many users interacted with the branded content and shared ANGOSTURA-branded templates on their own Instagram stories.

ANGOSTURA’s in-feed social posts and content publishing strategy that would typically feature a mix of images from bars, homes and live events, pivoted to provide easy at-home recipes for classic cocktails such as an Old Fashioned or a Martini. H+K also leveraged influencer content from previous activations and curated Shutterstock images to provide premium imagery of bar carts, bottle shots and at-home cocktail creation. The photos were paired with heartfelt but direct copy reminding users that while spending happy hour at the bar cart wasn’t ideal, it was the right thing to do.

When ANGOSTURA wanted to do more, H+K’s social and PR teams worked to drive a robust audit to design a recommendation that made sense from both a PR and Social Media perspective. A donation to the USBG and CPBA was the natural choice. To highlight ANGOSTURA’s commitment to the industry, H+K’s Creative Studio concepted, designed and developed visual content that was amplified across the organizations’ multiple social channels. H+K worked intimately with the client team to ensure the right notes were hit with the creative.

To continue securing media placements for the brand, while remaining sensitive to a single-subject news cycle, H+K also conducted highly-targeted media outreach, building a list of reporters who had recently published content around home cocktailing. The pitch offered easy recipes and imagery curated by influencer partners but contained minimal branding to ensure ANGOSTURA was not viewed as opportunistic. Thus far, social content has garnered 830 engagements and 46,255 impressions. Both PR and social campaigns are still in motion.

Sector: Food + Drink
Specialist expertise: Issues + Crisis, COVID-19 Intelligence + Advisory Communications Team (I-ACT)
Office: New York City

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