Who: 1800 Tequila and One Method (creative), Narrative (PR/influencer) with artist Bryan Espiritu and designer Natayla Amres.
What: “The Re:Stitch Project,” an influencer program developed around a line of custom denim jackets given away during pop-up events at trendy venues in Toronto and Vancouver.
When & Where: The first event was Oct. 4 in Toronto, with five events in total booked for Toronto and two more in Vancouver through the end of October.
Why: 1800 Tequila is looking to boost awareness and trial by inserting itself into “the heart of Canadian urban culture.” Because it’s a space where hard-sell marketing gets tuned out or is actively ignored, the approach required some finesse.
“They’re hyper-critical of brand advertising,” said John Hotts, One Method associate creative director. “We’re just trying to connect with them on their own terms and their own interest points.”
How: Re:Stitch is an influencer driven project to create art/fashion shared by urban trend setters. The 40 jackets feature Espiritu’s art stitched onto vintage denim jackets by Amres, and given away at bars and clubs. Attendees receive a ticket giving them a chance to win a jacket and a free 1800 Tequila cocktail. “We want the jackets to be on-premise because we want to get liquid to lips and get trial going,” said Hotts. Aside from some paid social, awareness is being boosted by carefully selected influencers who intersect with the 1800 Tequila brand and the target audience.
Where is that intersection? Music, art and fashion—three key brand pillars of 1800 Tequila. [The target consumers] are very image forward. They’re very entrepreneurial and have their own creative wits about them; they’re into different types of expression from music to fashion, and especially art as business,” said Hotts.
What kind of influencers? These are people that are buzzy, but not yet huge. “On the verge of really taking off,” said Hotts. People like Toronto R&B singer Ebhoni, who Pitchfork said is “reclaiming the Toronto R&B crown for women”; Sri Lankan-Canadian hip hop artist Shan Vincent de Paul, and Toronto DJ Killa Kels.