Field Marketing

By The Drum, Administrator

July 19, 2002 | 4 min read

After Shock aims to pull ahead of the crowd.

The Brief

Setting the agenda and truly leading the field within the rapidly growing “Shooter” category has been something that After Shock has done successfully over the past five years.

However, as the market leader in an ever-expanding market, innovation is key. It was back in 1997 that the brand made its first foray into the Scottish market and changed the way people drink for ever.

Since then After Shock has gone from strength to strength and the real challenge is to maintain this unprecedented momentum. The After Shock brand team fully understand the benefits of face-to-face communication with consumers, and on-trade field marketing has had a key role to play in the development of long-term relationships within the trade. Bar managers and pub groups are always encouraged to see a brand being supported on the ground in a way that is relevant and involving for their customers.

At the beginning of 2002 DraftWorldwide Field & Event Marketing were briefed to bring the brand alive in a new and unusual way, while staying true to the attitude and values associated with After Shock. This activity had to demonstrate and reinforce After Shock’s position as the undisputed leader of the shooter category. Our targets had been clearly identified as 18–24-year-olds with an “up for it” attitude in bars and nightclubs across Scotland, with the plan to roll the activity out nationally to student venues around the country.

Promotional Approach

Central to all on-trade field marketing is outlet ownership, so an event of suitable scale and presence was a prerequisite. Demanding the attention of the target market was a must. It was also key to entertain and involve customers, be it actively or passively. A long and amusing brainstorming session ensued with the usual array of weird and wacky promotional concepts being thrown around. The After Shock clients are generally open-minded and not averse to risqué suggestions - the brand lends itself well to being different, and our latest idea was no exception!

We presented the “Pole Dancing in a Bottle” concept with an element of trepidation as it definitely fell into the ‘edgy’ category. This activity avoided the unusual quick-fix kit promotions which can can get lost in-bar and which would not give us the level of impact we were seeking to achieve. It also gave us the opportunity to hand pick the right outlets with the right customer profile - doing fewer outlets better was the aim.

Implementation

The end result of our presentation to After Shock was extremely positive even though there were a few shocked faces when we revealed our visualisations of the pole dancing event night. However, it was now up to the field and event marketing team to bring this unusual and risqué concept to life. A number of closet engineers raised their heads and we spent a total of four weeks on the design and build of the stage set. The end result was an incredible giant replica of the After Shock bottle which had a stainless steel pole fixed through the middle. It underwent rigorous testing to ensure it could bear the weight of everyone from a svelte professional pole dancer to the biggest rugby lads that may end up wanting a go on the night. Needless to say, there seemed to be numerous agency staff eager to show off their moves on and around the pole (mostly male, surprisingly!)

Running concurrently with the set build, the DraftWorldwide team at head office were busy pulling together the outlet nominations, arranging meetings with bar managers and recruiting staff to run the promotion in-bar.

All field-marketing campaigns are won and lost in the preparation stages, with many failing to succeed due to inappropriate outlets or poor scheduling, both of which could have been avoided through effective planning.

The activity commenced in-bar this month and will run in nightclubs across Scotland. It will then take a break until the UK’s student population return to sample the delights of Freshers week, when the activity will run in student unions up and down the country.

The responses have been of shock, amusement and excitement, but even the shyest people in the house came out of their shell and everyone seems desperate to have a go, regardless of age, sex or dancing ability.

This kind of touring event has never been done before and has set pulses racing wherever the team has gone.

Plans are afoot to further leverage the activity with some additional PR, so watch this space ...

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