Post No. 902. The blank white page stares back, an abyss threatening to swallow me whole unless I ante up.
Groove is a digital and social marketing agency. We design and deploy compelling integrated campaigns for the digital economy. Living at the intersection of lifestyle and technology, we find, activate and nurture brand relationships to build an army of advocates. See for yourself.
Proving that [everything] is better Twisted
- The brand was a ready-to-serve opportunity and not a shot brand
- The flavors could propel the brand if developed as personalities
- "Twisted" could become a rallying cry with long term brand value
- Built a story around the flavors as characters
- Allowed consumers to take control of the "everything" mantra
- Gave men and women, late 20's and above, the ability to publish their own stories about the brand
When life hands you a twist, make a Twisted Shotz campaign. Twisted Shotz, a new ready-to-serve product, turned to Groove to develop a brand platform, devise a consumer segmentation strategy, create a go-to-market creative campaign and ignite a digital and social program. Our [everything] is better Twisted campaign encourages consumers to “incite devilish fun” by defining for themselves what “everything” includes. By enticing consumers to submit their own Twisted photos, videos and stories, they take partial ownership of the brand. Groove created the first group of tiny ambassadors from the shot flavors: Rattlesnake, Buttery Nipple, B-52 and other “shotz.” Though small in stature, our personified characters have huge twisted personalities that fill the void in an often-dull ready-to-serve market.
Inventing a new chip with 10,000 friends
- Chip flavor loyalty was a large part of the overall brand value
- Their offline events showed consumer engagement was possible
- Increased digital activation would create enormous buzz
- Built a concept around compelling brand truths
- Made it interactive and participatory
- Leveraged incredible fan enthusiasm
- Received +3K recipes in six weeks
- Made more than a million total impressions
- Helped nominate Kettle Foods to AdWeek’s “Hottest Brand” list
What’s more addictive than potato chips? Inventing them! Kettle Foods has been perfecting the potato chip for over thirty years. While they have maintained an army of loyal snack enthusiasts, Kettle wanted to take their commitment to the next level through digital engagement. Groove took the apron off Kettle Foods and put it on their fans with the “Create-a-Chip Challenge.” Contestants were asked to create their own unique chip flavor, which would be voted on by fans. We designed a limited edition kit (containing ingredients for the contestants), a virtual kitchen for fans from around the world to experiment with different flavors, and a gallery of thousands of personal recipes. The result was a dramatic increase in brand awareness: 10K Facebook fans and the creation of a top selling chip, the “Fully Loaded Baked Potato.”
Chateau St. Jean
Finding out paradise is closer than you think
- The unique location was an important selling point
- The estate was seeped in local history
- A regional digital engagement would spread awareness of the estate
- Highlighted brand truths related to the Sonoma location
- Developed stories that would matter to the local wine lover
- Created business partnerships to drive foot traffic
- Increased wine tasting foot traffic by 40 percent
- Doubled the number of event bookings
- Increased wedding bookings by 50 percent
Chateau St. Jean, with its gracious style, elegant architecture, inviting gardens and tasting rooms is the quintessential Sonoma winery – but not enough people were coming there to enjoy its beauty. They turned to Groove to redesign their digital and social properties to highlight this truly authentic Sonoma wine experience. We created the “Pure Sonoma” campaign, which leveraged digital, social and traditional direct marketing channels. The campaign also targeted wedding planners, travel agents, local business groups and consumers travelling in and around Northern California. The unique “destination focus” of the campaign created room for the winery to compete in a crowded market and helped to dramatically increase foot traffic to the estate. The result was a new favorite getaway for both locals and travelers.
Elevating the global cocktail stage
- Bartenders wanted to be part of an elite community
- The bartending community desired educational programs
- Bartenders have historically been competitive with each other
- Built up the competition’s reputation among industry influencers (bloggers)
- Recruited the best and the brightest bartenders
- Created an iPhone app to make the competition extremely accessible
- Achieved the highest activation in the history of the event -- a 30 percent year over year increase
- Became the “go to” bartending competition for the United States Bartender’s Guild
- Gained more than three million impressions for the brand
How do you find the best bartender in the world? World Class U.S., in conjunction with the United States Bartender’s Guild, conduct an annual quest for the world’s best bartender via a program called the “World Class Challenge,” which is active in over 50 global markets. The strategy of the program is to build brand awareness and loyalty around DIAGEO’s Reserve portfolio. To drive participation, Groove created three extensive social media campaigns, an iPhone app and a website. Our engagement campaign reached several hundred thousand bartenders across the U.S., resulted in incremental national recognition for the event, escalated brand awareness for DIAGEO and increased World Class’s enrollment. So did we find the best bartender in the world? We found thousands of them.
Revitalizing a brand
- Rosenblum represented an intense urban heritage, deepened grower relationships with consumers and touted an "un-winery" approach
- Millennial males were Rosenblum’s target market
- Alameda would impart regional credibility and an urban feel
- Reinvented the tasting room as an urban destination
- Linked together grilling, Zin and great music
- Drove eager wine fans to Zinquest events
- Boosted brand awareness from Millennial males
- Added 150 new wine club memberships each month
- Won “Agency of the Year” nomination for Groove
Kent Rosenblum realized his dream of starting an “un-winery” in the sixties. While the winery had a dedicated following for many years, enthusiasm for the brand was starting to show its age. Groove was tasked with making Rosenblum Cellars’ branding hip for Gen X and Millennial males. We updated this urban winery’s spirited take on life and developed an online and offline playbook that brought together the brand’s core values: encourage adventurous attitudes, promote the love for cooking with fire and enflame the desire to discover regional treasures. By integrating digital engagement with trade programs and parties, the target market took advantage of Zinquest events at the winery. Our passport program taught fans about California winemaking and how each bottle represents a unique growing region. The result was a new bountiful season for the brand.
Rediscovering the cocktail world
- Consumers loved making creative cocktails at home
- Stirrings' target market enjoyed hosting thematic parties
- Content creation opportunities weren't being utilized
- Celebrated homemade cocktails through social channels
- Advocated seasonal promotions across multiple channels
- Inspired creativity through "Surprising Pairings" activation tactics
- Increased social channel followers 10X in 90 days
- Increased conversion by 35 percent
- Helped land Walmart contract for four flavors
Celebrating life with cocktails is a festivity people enjoy. But they don’t like buying ten ingredients just to make the mix. To correct this inconvenience, Stirrings created high-quality cocktail mixers. Groove developed a unique voice for the brand, identified a new target market and created a digital strategy that supported its key brand truths. We created “Surprising Pairings.” This rewards campaign showcased the versatility of the product and encouraged creativity from target consumers by rewarding them for coming up with their own theme party cocktails and food pairings. The campaign immediately increased social channel and website traffic, generated a surge of awareness and raised ecommerce conversions. Groove’s work on the brand also helped Stirrings secure a contract with Walmart – both dramatically improving their bottom line and making cocktail hour more fun.
Making dreams come true
- A huge untapped wine enthusiast market existed
- The dream had to seem attainable for the average wine lover
- Our engagement had to be a communal and collaborative process
- Created a digital ecosystem where “wine dreams come true”
- Promised an access point to Napa Valley quality winemaking
- Built a community of wine lovers
- Grew the Crushpad Challenge to 525 participants and 50K votes
- Increased memberships 25X to more than 30K enthusiasts
- Boosted Challenge and Club Facebook “virality rates” to over 18 percent
The opportunity to make your own wine is a dream for many people. Crushpad wanted to help its clients realize their dreams of creating private label wines that were both market quality and perfect for personal collections. Because of a downturn in the economy, Crushpad needed to find new ways in the digital world to attract and retain new clients. We developed a two-tier strategy for digital customer acquisition. The first was gamification via Facebook through the Crush Club Challenge. Participants designed their own wine brand and had people vote for their wine on Facebook. Wine experts interviewed the top ten and the winner got a free barrel to start their brand. All of the runners-up received individual “club pages” that allowed them to recruit, engage and spread their brand ideas to potential members. The campaign resulted in a dramatic increase in clients and brand awareness. Most important, a lot of people changed their opinion about the accessibility of the craft of winemaking.
Hahn Family Winery
Connecting couples to the heart of the brand
- Time stressed GenY/Boomers needed an escape
- Hahn's target market valued authenticity, not status
- The winery’s affordable and quality wines aligned with their consumers’ needs
- Created a digital ecosystem to celebrate everyday romance
- Focused on couples
- Engaged couples through “Pinot Pins”
- Increased Club membership and Tasting Room visits by 35 percent
- Boosted ecommerce conversion by 28 percent
- Saw total case sales (through all tiers) go up by 20 percent
As the first winery in the Santa Lucia Highlands to produce California pinot noir, the Hahn Family Winery pioneered an entire regional transformation. While the winery still maintained its rugged hard-working values, they wanted to tap into a younger target market, young Boomers and Gen Y couples, whose own lives reflected the heart of their brand. Groove rebranded Hahn so that their true essence -- environmentalism, sustainability, romance and individuality -- could be showcased through their messaging. We also created a social currency platform called “Pinot Pins,” which allowed couples to engage with the brand and in return receive rewards such as club memberships and discounts. The result was a reinvention of the brand identity that increased tasting room attendance, club membership and trade activation.
Getting 1.5 million TV fans pumped
- A passionate TV series fan base would drive participation
- “Multi-stage” activation tactics would ensure engagement
- Entertainment channels would help generate a huge buzz
- Made the contest visually engaging, simple and fun
- Increased the rewards/sweepstakes each week
- Created a valuable prize for the winner
- Instigated 1.5 million votes in just over five weeks
- Boosted TV.com’s click-through rate for offers by 65 percent
- Proved that this contest would be successful for future use for gaining new customers
People are very loyal to their favorite television shows, but they aren’t necessarily devoted to video streaming websites. Owned by CBS Interactive, TV.com publishes television news, offers on-demand video streaming and provides a comprehensive resource guide for fans. To increase brand loyalty and expand their target market, TV.com wanted a solution that would generate a buzz around the new television season. Groove created “Smarty Pants” – a contest that allowed viewers to vote for the smartest male and female television series characters and to kick others “off the island.” We leveraged fan clubs, entertainment bloggers and TV.com advertising to draw attention to the contest. The result was a massive increase in user engagement. In just five weeks, the campaign generated 1.5 million votes. The die was cast for an exciting new season in television and an increase in consumer retention for the brand – a win-win situation.
Treasury Wine Estates
- Treasury needed a tablet and smartphone responsive portal
- Alignment of the brand messaging was vital for producers, distributors and consumers
- Global single sign-on was needed to gain trust with users
- Developed a touchscreen strategy for the portal
- Created a single permission based point of entry for all users
- Provided meaningful "just in time” knowledge to improve sales
- Experienced global alignment around the platform
- Won a 90 percent approval rating from 10K+ total users
- Exceeded a 90 percent adoption policy among the sales team
Treasury Wine Estates is a global wine company with a leading international portfolio of new world wines. With annual sales reaching upward of 32 million cases of wine and a large staff (3,500 winemakers, viticulturists, sales people, distributors and support staff located across 16 countries), they needed digital learning that would support a complex wine operation. Groove developed a channel, which synchronizes website, mobile and app-based engagement. This real-time storytelling environment with high-quality video and photography and detailed product information collateral can be customized per account for every presentation – effectively replacing printed materials with a digital book. We also provided sales training resources and tools, capabilities and compliance tracking, rich media content and CRM integration. Our goal was to showcase the full value of each brand in every sales call and to create brand alignment across all three tiers of the business.
Wingman – Groove’s Proprietary Digital Sales Platform
Integrated sales knowledge anywhere, anytime, on any device
Delivery of brand content and sales tools into market has been one of the biggest problems facing wine, spirits and beer producers in a complex three-tier system. Enter Wingman, a proprietary platform that distributes brand knowledge, sales collateral and training seamlessly across the business, enabling producer, distributors, and retailers to easily communicate the full value of the brand in every sales call.
Wingman is a comprehensive, completely customizable digital sales book. It allows users to deliver “just in time” brand, category, shopper and/or program knowledge to anyone, anywhere, any time on any device. With more than 60,000 users and 90%+ approval ratings, Wingman reduces costs, increases engagement and optimizes every sales opportunity to improve the bottom line.
Our Talents Lie in Our Talent
We are more than a digital marketing agency. Those three words — digital marketing agency — cannot adequately sum up the talent that lies behind our doors. We are storytellers, producers, strategists, technologists, designers, filmmakers and wine experts who are passionate about great ideas. Our talents and interests drive our creativity. We understand that creativity ushers in vision and the courage to explore possibilities. Our story is one of determination, skill and the guts to create strong brand stories for a target market that hasn’t met you yet.
& The Illustrious Storyteller
Sean helps brands develop their stories for the digital economy in his role as Managing Director and Founder at Groove. He generates strategies that engage a brand’s target tribes to build brand equity. His talent for storytelling comes from his film background and more than fifteen plus years in digital marketing. He has worked with some of the nation’s most recognizable names including Diageo, Treasury Wine Estates, Constellation, Hahn Family Wines, Kettle Chips, ZAGAT, and Independent Distillers. When he is not in the office, Sean is training for Tough Mudder, coaching soccer or biking with his boys. In fact, his Groove team recently completed Tough Mudder in Tahoe to boost camaraderie and enthusiasm.
& Strategy Muse
As a Certified Sommelier with a background working as Diageo’s National Director of Trade Marketing, Sally’s experience in the wine and spirits industry helps her see the big picture when it comes to working with brands. In addition, she has been trained in the management program at Claridge’s Hotel and worked as a sommelier for hotels in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Sally’s talent lies in her ability to outline concrete plans of action, develop digital projects and align and change the project accordingly, so that it best serves the client.
& The Brand Builder
Peter’s Swedish roots and fondness for hard work has contributed to his passion for building brands and companies. His career as a brand builder began at Procter & Gamble. After eight years with the company, Peter moved on to work for Möet Hennessy to address its underperforming U.S. winery operations. In the early 2000s, Ekman was asked to “fix” Wine.com. His leadership and guidance led the company through a complicated restructuring phase. Peter’s wine and spirits expertise, business know-how and can-do disposition help brands build strong foundations with solid structures. Additionally, Peter goes beyond educating himself about wine. He bottles his own pinot as a way of truly immersing himself into the process.
& World Traveler
Diane is our Creative Director. She started her career at Doyle Dane Bernbach in NY where she received a One Show Gold for her work on Chivas Regal. After 4 years she moved to CA and worked for TBWA/Chiat Day, Hal Riney, and JWT Thompson. She has been a writer and creative director on wine brands - Gallo, Glen Ellen and BV wines, working in all mediums. Diane also has international experience working on broadcast for Pepsi at BBDO. In London she worked on British Rail for Saatchi and won a British D&AD award. Creating engaging social media content at Groove has given Diane more opportunity to use her writing skills and her sense of humor. In her spare time, she collects art and is rumored to be quite a lively dancer.
SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER
& Geographic Adventurer
Bruce’s talents lie in his strategic creativity, which produces compelling results that reflect his passion for exploration and design in the digital landscape. His enterprising career working with Sony Arts Entertainment, HP, Hilton Hotels, Wells Fargo, Cisco Systems, Nike, Stirrings Mixers, and Diageo Wine and Estates, to name a few, has given him insight into how design can effectively communicate. Bruce travels the world in search of adventure and perspective. One of his most notable experiences includes meeting the Mudmen of Papua, New Guinea. If traversing the planet has taught Bruce one thing, it is that people from every culture around the world try to visually represent ideas. Bruce is inspired by this basic human quality and natural instinct.
& Coastal Explorer
Jennifer has spent over 20 years in marketing. Consumer insights and the evolving strategies that emerge from those insights are her forte. She earned her chops as a Vice President at Shopper Marketing agency, MARS Advertising. Leadership roles followed in the consumer goods and wine industries, including time with Nestle, Clorox, Kraft Foods and Treasury Wine Estates. When Jennifer isn’t helping clients get a better view of where they could be going, she is taking in her own view of the California coast between her homes in Muir Beach and Big Sur. She is known for her kilowatt smile and ice cream made from scratch. Jennifer also feeds her wanderlust by taking the impromptu getaway and documents it in her travel blog, “Sojournchic.”
& The Specialist
Jeff specializes in the details. He manages a client services team that supports websites for such companies as Diageo Wines, Treasury, World Class, BV, Stirrings and Acacia. To ensure that every minute detail of a project has been well thought out and assigned to the best person on his team for each particular project, Jeff draws from his management experience at Leap Frog, Household Credit Services and the Raiders. His talents lie in his ability to look at the overall scheme of things, study all the details and understand the ever-changing ecosystem of the digital world.
& Outdoor Enthusiast
Ann is our project manager. Also known as “she who must be obeyed.” Ann has a versatile skill set. She was one of the founders of imbee.com a social networking site for tweens. After that, she moved on to a producing role at Kabongo, a children’s gaming site. At Groove, she is both a creative and strategic force in Groove’s unique approach to social media marketing. What brought Ann to Groove is her love of wine. In fact, she planted three acres of grapes to make her own wine. So far, her favorite is the Malbec. Don’t be surprised if you see Ann biking, scuba diving, and traveling to exotic locales. She is a woman on the move.
& The Filmmaker
Robert Altman says that filmmaking gives you the chance to live many lifetimes. David has definitely lived a sundry of lives. He earned his Masters in Telecommunications and Film at San Diego State University. After graduation, he worked at IVID Communications and was later promoted to Director of Design and Development. In 2000, David moved to Denmark to teach directing and writing at the European Film College. The desire to work as an artist uprooted David from Europe and brought him to Brooklyn, New York where he worked as a fabricator. Filmmaking never loosened its grip on his heart. When David is not working with Groove, he’s producing his own films. David is also an avid motorcyclist. The sights and scenes from the road fuel his passion for narrative, film and life.
& Social Maven
Andrea navigates the ever-evolving world of digital media to humanize brands and connect consumers. She started her digital media career at start-ups like San Francisco’s Hipmunk, a travel based search company. Andrea can't get enough of the innovative and fast-paced world of digital publishing. She uses her digital and communication background to strategize all things social media from content and channel strategy to building brand advocates. When she is not busy determining the right content for Groove clients, she can’t put publishing down as she recently started a book club. Like most native Californians Andrea also likes to spend her time hiking through the redwoods and taking in live music of local bands.
DIGITAL STRATEGY DIRECTOR
& Marketing Sociologist
Jeet is our digital strategist. However, with a BA in business and Masters in advertising he is also a cultural explorer, creative thinker and fearless analytics cruncher. Jeet worked at BBDO as a strategist in both traditional and digital channels. His hybrid expertise crosses an array of industries from technology to hospitality. But it was his experience working on Barefoot Wine and Gallo that brought him to Groove. Here Jeet is responsible for robust fan acquisition strategies and tracking a brands social progress with his killer analytics skills. Known in the office for making #JeetJava, the strongest coffee this side of the Golden Gate, he is also an adventurer both in nature and behind the bar as a mixologist.
Our work speaks for itself, but these folks agree.
Other Awarded Work Includes Bealieu Vineyards, Johnnie Walker, Ciroc
Top 100 Fast Growing
(3 times) Best North Bay
New Resource Bank
Agency of the Year -
Digital/Social = Storytelling
Discover what we do, how we think, and who we are.
Why do I love the Twisted Shotz community? Because these fans freakin’ love to party! Every day you can bet on a raging group of twisted fans. They redefine engagement.
Last fall, after a decade of delivering many types of digital solutions to a half dozen different industries, Groove decided it was time to double down on our passion.
We’ve seen divergent thinking over the last few years about the role of digital engagement within marketing and brand groups and, specifically, who should be doing it.
Starbucks and Bud Light are fighting back. These two iconic brands lost their way, and as a consequence sales slipped.
So how did they get here? And how do they get back?