The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

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By Awards Analyst, writer

May 25, 2021 | 6 min read

Engine won the Chair's Award at The Drum Awards for Content in 2020 for itscampaign for Jägermeister. Hear from the team behind #SaveTheNight as they outline their plan to support the nightlife community through the pandemic.

The challenge

In 2020, the nightlife community was facing its biggest challenge in recent memory. With clubs, bars and pubs shut down and tens of thousands out of work, the alcohol industry was quick to respond, launching funds to support out of work employees and content platforms to maintain relationships with audiences. To stand out and make a real difference, we needed to do something different.

With Covid-19 putting nightlife and everyone involved in it under threat, Jägermeister launched Meister Drop-Ins to support the night community during the Covid-19 crisis, with a campaign that enabled our audience to book nightlife talent, or as we call them ‘Meisters’, to provide entertainment during their virtual lockdown parties.

The campaign was designed first and foremost to support the nightlife community and entertain our audience during the pandemic lockdown. It was born out of an altruistic desire to help those who love the brand and are part of our wider nightlife community.

“We wanted to do something that helped our wider community in this time of need, not to sell more product, but because it was the right thing to do. As a brand, we stay close to our audience and the things that are relevant and important to them.” -Tim Jerg, head of global brand management and digital marketing, Jägermeister

The strategy

We spotted an opportunity. Most brands were donating money to anonymous associations, but we wanted to ensure our “Meister” talent benefited directly. At the same time, while most brands were driving people to new branded digital platforms, such as virtual pubs, we could see our audience were socialising on their own video chat platforms. If we wanted to truly help them live our brand mission (“the best nights of your life”) and authentically engage them, we needed to do go to where they were.

Meister Drop-Ins married supply with demand by connecting Jägermeister’s unique network of 200 talented artists and performers to entertainment-hungry consumers stuck at home. By allowing our audience to book the talent to entertain their Zoom, HouseParty, Teams and Skype parties, it augmented their real behaviour and added value to their experience.

The imperative when we first started the project was getting the platform live as quickly as possible. One thing we didn’t have a lot of was time.

Meister graphic

The campaign

Building a global entertainment platform from scratch in a matter of weeks meant that we had to continuously rework and adapt – constantly live tracking the performance, looking at what’s working and what’s not working – to optimise the platform as we went.

As more markets came on board – starting with three and now up to 25 – we had to consider the different needs and requirements each one of those markets had. For example, in Russia they don’t accept PayPal, so we had to integrate the equivalent version for that country.

“The holy grail when you’re a global team is being able to create something that is by definition global, but at the same time delivers against the needs of each market” – Dave Roberts, chief content officer

The campaign has been built entirely around consumer behaviour. Where other brands asked their audiences to come to them for entertainment, we took the entertainment to our audience, on their terms, while also creating an income stream for that talent. As a result, Jägermeister has been able to foster a more personal interaction with its target audience and create a more valuable experience for them in return.

The drop-ins have been such a success that one Meister DJ co-created (then released) a track ‘Tumelo’ on a Drop-In, one joined a call with 120 fans desperate to talk sneakers and another kept going for six hours!

The results

’Meister Drop-Ins’ has been the most successful activation in the history of Jägermeister – we didn’t just save the night, we owned it. The platform now has over 200 Meisters from 25 markets live on the site ready to book, with more joining weekly. Since launch the campaign has:

  • Generated 180 million social impressions and 100,000 unique website visits.
  • Delivered 1,500 virtual drop-in events, totalling 750 hours spent with the brand.
  • Paid €800k to Meisters in desperate need, plus thousands more in tips.

However, ’Meister Drop-Ins’ hasn’t ended with lockdown. It is being evolved and adapted to become an ongoing campaign stream that will see Jägermeister activate their purpose to support their ever-growing Meister community and help their audience experience “the best nights of their life”, as we transition from lockdown to socially distanced socialising to whatever the “new normal” has instore for nightlife.

“Jägermeister has carefully considered not only how it can offer help, but do so in a way that fits its brand values and what its brand is all about. As an alcoholic beverage, giving back to the nightlife community makes perfect sense for Jägermeister, and it makes the brand appear altruistic during a difficult time.” – Contagious Magazine

"As a family owned business, solidarity is a matter of heart to us. Our brand and our company have been built in cooperation with passionate Meister mixologists, bartenders, musicians and artists. Now we need to give back to them in a way which also delivers entertainment for everyone who can’t get to their favourite bar, club or event." - Michael Volke, chairman of the executive board, Mast Jägermeister SE

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for Content in 2020. To find out which competitions in The Drum Awards are currently open for entries, click here, or visit our new interactive calendar.

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