Grey Goose had been investing significantly in category and brand education for bartenders, who saw it as a high-quality vodka. Despite this, sentiment towards the brand was relatively neutral; bartenders viewed the brand as unapproachable, unrelatable, and not an integral member of the trade community. How could we show a new generation of influential bartenders that Grey Goose was down-to-earth, approachable and fun?
So much of a bar team’s job happens behind the scenes. From prepping citrus to batching syrups and washing glassware, there is so much unnoticed teamwork that goes into ensuring that guests have the most hospitable experience (and the best cocktails). We needed to champion a bartender’s everyday role within a team in a fun way.
To celebrate these often unrecognized acts of service and the people who execute them, we partnered with the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation to launch The Great Bar Race, a competition that put trade skills and teamwork to the test. Bar teams across five American cities competed in fun-filled, physical challenges inspired by everyday tasks. Winning bar teams were rewarded with the ultimate day off.
240 bartenders participated in the Great Bar Race as a total of 1159 spectators cheered them on. The event proved successful with a 95% retention rate. In a study done by Nielsen, the Great Bar Race ranked #4 in trade programs with greatest level of interest and in its first year alone, ranked #9 in best performing trade programs. It was the most resonant program thanks to its cooperative nature.
Through content produced through our partnership with Punch Magazine, we received 4.1M impressions and 11,651 engagements. The sponsored social content produced by our partner Tales of the Cocktail received 600K impressions and 198K engagements from a trade-based audience.