Great content marketing is like a magnet. It sucks people in. Something about it gets the initial attention, then as the audience bites off a little more, they become more and more curious, engaged, willing.
And great content marketing can absolutely attract audiences you never thought you’d have. Case in point: I am fascinated with Hendrick’s Gin. I’m not a gin drinker. I can’t say that I’ve ever had a cocktail with gin in it (though I’m sure one slipped in there somewhere.) I’m fairly certain I’ve never had Hendrick’s Gin. But damn if their content doesn’t captivate me.
The first time I encountered it was, admittedly, when the company that founded the brand, but is also a marketing and PR firm — Quaker City Mercantile — pitched me an animated short. The pitch reminded (er … um .. educated) me the brand was strange and quirky, saying they were the, “curly moustache above the traditional British ‘stiff upper lip.’” Yes, they even spelled mustache that way. I’m not sure if AMI approves.
The video itself is beautiful, though the message is kind of predictable ad messaging. But the animation reminded me of Terry Gilliam’s work on Monty Python pictures. So I dove into the website, the blog, the Facebook page and so on.
What you encounter with Hendricks’s content is transformative. You’re taken to a different place and time, where British sensibilities meat Steampunk fantasy and unrefined pretentiousness with a hint of fairy tale. Some interesting examples:
- A Facebook post with Lana Turner’s quote likening men to patient wolves encouraging users to enjoy a gin and tonic with their favorite gentleman to celebrate International Werewolf Week.
- A blog entry discussing incidents of mass hysteria and public dilution. The epilogue encourages anyone still flummoxed to, “try a distracting glass of apocalyptic lust.” The word “lust” links to a cocktail recipe named “The Lust Cocktail.”
- The aforementioned beautiful videos.
- Witty responses on Twitter.
Former advertising executive Steven Grasse founded Quaker City Merchantile and is the man behind Hendrick’s Gin. He simply grew tired of selling other people’s products and sat out to create his own. Quaker City lists Sailor Jerry Rum, Spodee Wine and Art in the Age craft spirits. But he builds brand experiences, not just brands. There are no outside creative agencies involved. It’s as if he has a creative concept, then builds a product to server as a conduit for that content.
He assured me in our recent chat for ThisMoment in Content Marketing (embedded below) that wasn’t the case. He said each brand’s “environment” for lack of a better term was an organic creation he stumbled upon while getting to know the product, its origins, etc. Either way, Hendrick’s Gin has a distinctive flavor with its content. And it certainly ranks as one of my favorite content marketing brands out there.
And as a matter of disclaimer, Elasticity has no connection to Hendrick’s or Quaker City Mercantile. We just admire good content when we see it.
So what brand’s “environment” engages or inspires you? We’d love to know in the comments.