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Hedgehog Hall of Fame: Focus PR - Jim Beam Honey Pop-up Beehive

16th August 2013

Company: Focus PR Campaign: Jim Beam Honey Pop-up Beehive Category: Event of the Year - South - WINNER Partners: Maxxium UK, JR Event Consulting Objectives Focus PR was tasked with launching Jim Beam Honey to UK media (trade and consumer) and consumers ahead of the key competitor. The venue had to be outdoors, in central London, in April 2012. Our objectives were to: • encourage trial and purchase of Jim Beam Honey among target consumers (25+ men and women open to trying bourbon for the first time) • support on and off-trade sell-in before the end of April 2012 • create a fully immersive experience for press and consumers and a “first” for the drinks market Target Audience  Focus PR created London’s first-ever pop-up beehive bar to launch Jim Beam Honey. Using ‘honey’ as the trigger, our strategy ‘Bee Surprised’, was woven through all aspects of delivery.  The thinking: the flavour tastes surprisingly good, the experience should surprise consumers and competitors would be surprised Jim Beam Honey was first to market. Action With outdoor alcohol consumption laws increasingly being tightened and the Government announcing the new Budget (making it even stricter for councils to support outdoor alcohol events) in the middle of our planning period, finding an outdoor space became incredibly difficult. With only seven weeks from brief to execution to deliver, speed and agility were crucial. After countless dead-ends, we found Broadgate Circle, near busy Liverpool Street Station, securing local foot traffic and the target audience profile. Sourced from mainland Europe, and requiring specialist cranes to winch it in, we created a bespoke pop-up honey hive to host sampling activity for press and consumers. The hive was constructed with a specially designed 14 metre hexagonal bar forming the centre piece around which the entertainment focused on award-winning aerial performers, dressed as bees, swinging from the hive to a remix, with Flight of the Bumblebee and Beez in a Trap as the base tracks (mixed by Yolanda Be Cool). Bartenders dressed as beekeepers served Jim Beam Honey cocktails to trade and consumer press. From the honeycomb hive to tiny details such as using honey dippers in place of swizzle sticks, we obsessed over the detail. Ensuring the hive was filled to capacity (300 max) for eight performances and with no imagery or brand collateral available for media use, we set up a photo shoot with two free-runners dressed as beekeepers – bounding off Broadgate buildings – to create eye-popping, pre-opening night buzz and photo call opportunities for both on and offline media. Time Out, The and (among others) all picked up on the free-runner imagery, while sending exclusive content via sneak peeks with key bloggers, including Bitchbuzz and Spoonfed, helped drive over 1,000 people to the hive. Results • Maxxium UK secured the first listing for Jim Beam Honey in Matthew Clark Wholesale within 20 days of the launch event, followed by national distribution in Sainsbury’s and Asda • 1,190 people attended the Jim Beam Honey pop-up beehive • 2,500 Jim Beam Honey samples distributed • 39 pieces of coverage were generated, reaching a total circulation of over 108 million • Jim Beam Honey and the ‘Bee Surprised’ creative strategy has been rolled out successfully into European travel retail outlets Eileen Livingston, marketing controller, Maxxium UK, said “I called Hilary [Crossing, MD of Focus PR] on 12 March to float the idea of a big bang launch within seven weeks.  Focus PR turned around the communications strategy – Bee Surprised – and executed a textbook and genuinely amazing two-day launch event, on budget and within a very tight timeframe.  London was humming or I should say buzzzzzing and the editorial pick up has been all we hoped for and much more!” URL @JimBeamHoney The PRmoment Golden Hedgehog Awards 2014 are now open for entries. Here are this years updated categories.

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