As traditional titles scale back and resources get pumped into digital channels, journalists and publishers face enormous pressures to adapt to this 24/7 news economy. Bacardi Limited (BL) is well known for creating news and content that media and influencers find newsworthy enough to engage with and share.
In 2012, TVC worked with BL to create separate, online media centres for three of its most iconic brands: BACARDÍ, GREY GOOSE and MARTINI. The English-only media centres generated a significant level of engagement, accumulating 17,000+ users who registered for regular news and updates from the brands.
By 2017, it was time to take it to the next level and create the most advanced online media centre in the drinks industry – one that would feed journalists and influencers news and content anytime, anywhere, and could be used across any platform or channel. We aimed to design and build an innovative next generation multi-brand, multi-language, digital platform to address these issues.
- To develop a ‘one-stop-shop’ for journalists, influencers and online curators to search and findBacardi brand content 24/7, wherever they are in the world, when they need it;
- Centralise BL content and stories for campaigns across five core brands in order to drive awareness of BL’s iconic portfolio;
- Increase users to the site by 35%.
- At least 1,000 downloads during the six-month soft launch period;
- At least 500 asset uploads.
Strategy and Insight
We carried out targeted quantitative and qualitative research to ensure we developed a media centre that would put media and influencer requirements at the forefront of brand communication. Several key insights emerged from the research that proved critical to shaping the final Super Media Centre (SMC).
Importantly, the research confirmed that media still rely heavily on media centres to find relevant content, with 87% of respondents saying they searched online media centres for stories several times a day.
Most crucially, the results revealed what media consider to be the most valuable benefits of a media centre.
We found that:
- 62% wanted to access information and write stories on the go;
- 60% wanted to be able to download and re-use video content;
- 87.5% of respondents said they expected to be able to access royalty free multimedia content from an online media centre.
We responded to the research results by:
- Designing the media centre app for IOS and Android;
- Incorporating HD, 2K and 4K video capabilities into the SMC;
- Ensuring all assets on the SMC are free from copyright and free of charge.
The SMC has an intuitive and easy to use navigation and layout, with one unique login and an uncluttered homepage acting as the gateway to the six individual media centres. We designed an overarching framework that was then tailored to reflect each of the six brands, being mindful of the different brand looks - some contemporary and some more traditional. All designs had to adhere to BL’s extensive brand guidelines.
In addition, a specially designed app for IOS and Android was built, giving media and influencers access to a multi-brand, multi-language hub at any time and from anywhere in the world.
The content management system allows for unlimited story and media asset upload; enables time-sensitive stories to be published as required; as well as categorising, tag and meta tag control. Campaign management capabilities include story management to targeted distribution lists (time and date); advance download technology for multiple assets; schedule embargoed stories; story list targeting; and built-in Google analytics to track engagement and share of voice.
Branded alerts are shared with media users within moments of content being uploaded and a tailor-made CMS provides the option to publish stories on digitalnewsagency.com, giving access to an additional network of 40,000+ journalists, content curators and influencers.
We also arranged a series of training sessions, supporting collateral and a user guide to support training sessions for 12 agencies in nine countries around the world.
On September 6, Grey Goose Canada uploaded the first story on the SMC ahead of the Toronto International Film Festival. We were off to a flying start with a 101.3% increase in traffic compared to the previous standalone Grey Goose media centre platform.
The end user was at the forefront during all stages of design and development of the SMC, but the research didn’t stop when the site went live. The SMC is not just a brand platform, it is a constantly evolving hub and we continue to monitor and listen to feedback to ensure we deliver what media and influencers want to consume.
The SMC has only been soft launched at this stage but we are already seeing excellent levels of engagement with a steady increase in user sign ups, downloads and asset uploads. In the first six months, there has been a 39% increase in users to the site as well as 1,236 downloads and 531 asset uploads.