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How Fever Tree showed up Dry Martini at Goodwood Festival of Speed

By Saman Mansourpour | Managing Director



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July 12, 2017 | 4 min read

I visited Goodwood Festival of Speed (FOS) last week and it was fascinating to observe a number of premium automotive and drinks brands in action. It's an event that has always celebrated fast cars and luxury lifestyles with bubbles.


Martini Racing and Moët & Chandon have been at the heart of the high-end action for decades and Goodwood FOS is known to be the event that lets enthusiasts feel the dream – so surely the priority for the brand managers laying on these events has to be the brand experience.

This year was particularly notable for how open access the Porsche brand has become, providing entertainment for kids on the stands as much as the adults. Fusing gaming and racing with in car experiences, Porsche did what it does best and got everyone involved. McLaren was also impressive, combining supercar aspiration with a full-size Lego car you could help build on the stand in exchange for a £1 charity contribution. It was Innovative, playful and involving.

As for Fever Tree – I practically had to fight my way to their gin and tonic tour. A two-story stand with gin mixing magic, crowd bursting queues and friendly faced folk. Fever Tree was undoubtedly the party everyone wanted to be at both online and off, which left me wondering how the well established luxury brands like Ferrari, Moët and Martini were performing. Ferrari displayed its supercars in a cordoned off stand and received maybe one visitor. The Martini Drivers Experience required guardianship by a bouncer, yet they were totally empty. Moët, however, was perhaps the saddest sight of all, accommodating one elderly chap among 30 empty tables and chairs. So, what went wrong?

It’s obvious that luxury brands are built on exclusivity, but some are starting to just feel excluded. No matter how well established they are as brands, without active and involving brand participation audiences will find them irrelevant and leave.

In our social media fuelled world of accelerated content and consumer empowerment, getting your audience to be your brand ambassador is pretty much the only thing that matters. Engaging with online influencers and securing promotional deals early on is key to amplifying your brand pre and post event.

Host an outreach programme online for the masses and tie this in to pull people onto the stand ensures a busy and popular brand experience at events like FOS. It buys more bang for buck and feeds the rich content machine for the weeks that follow – something McLaren tapped into, Fever Tree nailed and Porsche wrote the book on. These brands got people to dance on their stage, play with their toys and sit in their cars. The result was pictures, tweets and shares by popular influencers like Shmee150 and Solomandrin, as well as thousands of engagements with Joe (public).

By being relevant with their brand amplification, McLaren, Fever Tree and Porsche will have outstripped their stuffy peers and with it they’ll have opened up a new set of fans and a wider set of future customers. That’s brand building 101, and it’s a lesson brand managers need to take on board. A brand that excludes may be exclusive, but it’s a brand that’s dead.

Saman Mansourpour is managing director of integrated agency AgencyUK.

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We’re an independent brand communications agency voted Ad Agency of The Year 2019 and Brand Strategy Agency of the Year 2020 by Drum Recommends. Our services span brand strategy, identity, positioning and activation; creative development, media planning, social and PR including influencer outreach, community management, content strategy & planning and web design and development.

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Iconic confectionery brand

Moved their NPS score by 10 points over 9 months and moved their UK positioning from 4th to 2nd in category.

Swiss skin care and supplement brand

Achieved a 70% increase in Holland & Barrett retail sales by quarter 2 of our campaign and 30% increase in online sales quarter on quarter.

Dog food brand

83% increase in sales across 2020 with 155% increase in online sales.

Global juice and fruit brand

Increased their sales by 20% in Tesco and ASDA during the campaign period and increased their baseline score by 14%.

Heritage Kitchenware brand

Within 4 weeks of the campaign being live, we more than doubled sales on Ocado. Overall, the campaign activity drove a whopping 50% increase in sales. Increased online sales in 2020 by 82%

Bio-tech brand

We drove more than 60 orders in the first 3-months (exceeding production capabilities).

Global Clinical Research Organisation.

We have increased on-site conversions by 37% and reduced recruitment media spend on similar trials by 23%.

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