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Media Plan of the Year


Southern Comfort
Best use of Internet
March, 2005
Category: #11 Best use of Internet

Submitted By: Margarita Pinto

VP, Marketing Director
101 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02199

Client: Southern Comfort

Brand: Southern Comfort

Budget: Under $1 million

Media Used: Internet

Media Team: Brian Cavoli Acct. Director

Andrea Millett Supervisor
Jen Ray Planner
Mike Nuzzo Planner

Southern Comfort is a top liquor brand targeting 21-29 year olds who consume
alcohol. It is a versatile, mixable spirit with a distinctive flavor that makes drinks
taste better. Its secret formula was created by M.W. Heron, a bartender in New
Orleans in 1874; today, more than 26 million bottles of Southern Comfort are sold
annually in 65 countries around the world.


This campaign is a successful example of how innovative interactive media strate-

gies closely integrated with offline events delivers a
powerful experience that immerses the audience in the brand
without feeling like advertising. It demonstrates how effective
non-traditional media can be in distinguishing the brand in a very
competitive market.

Media Goals
1. Distinguish the Southern Comfort brand in the marketplace by
creating media opportunities that go beyond the traditional use of the Internet.
2. Increase interactivity with the brand without requiring a click through to a
website visit.
3. Reinforce the connection of SoCo's heritage to New Orleans and
promote the fun, party atmosphere it embodies.
4. Enable the audience to spread the brand message virally to their party friends.
5. Leverage social offline events with highly regarded partners to enhance.

We developed a strategy with three elements that best connect with this target
audience: Music, Models and Mingling.

The internet is the ideal place to reach and engage these consumers with
innovative and engaging promotions that build buzz. MPG created a campaign to
go beyond the traditional use of the internet, using rich media and
streaming media to engage this web-savvy audience with the brand.

We partnered with top sites and with other strong leadership brands for this
demo, to leverage appealing offline activities and deliver a quality online
experience that enhances the SoCo brand.


A streaming radio station was created featuring a SoCo branded media player
and specially selected songs that capture the brand attitude in three
categories - Rocks, Chilled and Mixed.

Capitalizing upon the popularity of music downloads, a sponsorship of the

Rhapsody service featuring a contest for 5,000 free songs created a great
opportunity to connect the brand to music enthusiasts.

At Mardi Gras, a wireless component enabled party attendees to win concert

tickets by SMS on their cell phones. Winners showed their phone at the party
entrance for admittance. receives about 1.1 million unique visitors a month, averaging

eight pages per visit.

Voodoo Music Experience promotion and sweepstakes

- Integration into POS
- 2,300 new consumers added to the Southern Comfort database

Presence at Voodoo
- Cover of RollingStone e-photos.
- 181 photos taken, 52% retrieved photo.
- Photo gallery on minisite.

Promoted via email to consumer database.

Rolling Stone Rhapsody Promotion:
"Hit the Music Megaload" Rhapsody digital music
service promotion and sweeps:

- Winner receives 6 month subscription and


- Time period: 10/13 - 2/15

With the popularity of music downloads to this

audience, a sponsorship of the Rhapsody service
with a contest for free songs was a great
opportunity to further connect SoCo to music

Rolling Stone SoCo Mix:
Southern Comfort branded skin/overlay for Real Media
Player allows users to stream (listen to) 600 songs
that have a SoCo vibe.

Songs are organized into 3 stations

- Rocks
- Chilled
- Mixed
SoCo Mix promoted on Real, and


Maxim is a top magazine for our desired audience. SoCo partnered with Maxim to
develop a sweepstakes awarding a trip to New Orleans, featuring a Cocktail Tour
accompanied by two Maxim models.

The entry microsite on features an interactive flash-based quiz about

New Orleans and great SoCo drink recipes.

Integrated promotions include ads in the magazine and rich media ads across the
Maxim website.

Maxim Floating Eyeblaster Creative:

Floating EyeBlaster unit is an innovative creative solution used to attract

contest participants.

The co-branded unit hovers on top of the page content on MAXIM in the
Entertainment section of the site and has received a 5% Click-Through Rate.


Evite is a party planning headquarters selected as an innovative way to spread

the brand message virally to people planning and attending summer parties.

Custom branded SoCo invite templates were created for Evite users to setup,
invite friends and manage RSVPs for their own parties. The branded
templates are sent to each recipient to announce the party and to request a

SoCo purchased branded templates for parties related to Bar-b-ques, 4th of

July, Halloween and Mardi Gras.

Rich media ad units surround the templates and enable users to interact with
the ad to grab ice from the bucket and receive SoCo drink recipes.

Rich media ad units in the Halloween Evite allowed users to interact with the
brand within the template.

Visitors scroll their mouse over the ad for SoCo drink recipes and to generate
toasts "to all the ghouls I've loved before."

23% interaction rate.


We demonstrated that with a limited budget Southern Comfort can

make a powerful brand impact by using the Internet the way their
web-savvy target audience uses it. This connects with the interests of the
audience in a way that includes them in the marketing experience without
making it feel like advertising.

Innovative media technologies were utilized to immerse consumers in the

brand to deliver an experience within the familiar environment of their
favorite websites.

The brand experience is achieved without requiring the traditional click

through from a banner ad - we brought the interactivity and the brand
experience to the user in their environment.

The campaign is about connecting people with similar interests; all

promotions have a viral "send to a friend" element. All of the campaign
elements were closely connected and integrated with high energy offline
events and fun activities on-premise where consumers can use the
product - reinforcing the brand with the activity.


The Southern Comfort campaign was successful for our client. About 25,000
parties were created with SoCo templates on Evite, with almost one million
people receiving invitations. SoCo's rich media ads across the site clocked a
23% interaction rate, an extremely high figure. The contests exceeded
expectations: Over 12,000 people entered the SoCo Cocktail Tour contest
with Maxim models, while about 20,000 people entered SoCo's music
contests on

Supporting materials & videos available upon request.

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