by Nick Rossignol
If the internet existed in the victorian era, what would brand content and discussions look like? This is the premise that animates most of the brand presence of Hendrick’s Gin. Their online presence is filled with circus freakshows, secret societies, steam technological advances and romantic symbolism with a healthy dose of proper British manners. It makes for an unusual online presence, one that relies on writing as the glue holding all the crazy visuals together.
Hendrick’s campaigns are successful for three main reasons:
- They are unusual or surprising
- The tone is consistent across all platforms and across campaigns
- They are inclusive while inviting playfulness
Celebrating the unusual
Hendrick’s version of “Please drink responsibly” is “Please enjoy the unusual responsibly”. It’s a unique take for an alcohol marketer and this celebration of the unusual is what makes some of their subject lines so strong.
Take for example this subject line promoting a 2015 contest: “Win a Ride on the Hendrick’s Flying Cucumber”. It piques my curiosity so expect a click from me!
Consistent Tone and Voice
Throughout Hendrick’s digital content, you can practically hear the voice in your head take on a new accent to fit the writing. This comes from adding slightly older vocabulary (wondrous, peculiar, and the use of society to designate a club are just a few examples) and from adding many comments in parentheses to bring a more conversational tone.
It conveys a different era and a certain class while remaining accessible. Here are some examples across their social platforms:
You’ll see this consistency also across their blog posts and even in the newsletter opt-in:
Inclusive and Playful
After years of cultivating this tone and voice, it was time for Hendrick’s to turn the tables and get their fans to write. “Tiny Tales” was a campaign that offered to turn short tales (literally, three sentences or less) into a short video. Tales were encouraged to be unusual and surprising and the winners were broadcast on social media.
“Things are more thrilling when we are at the edge of what’s possible, beyond what is expected or considered normal.” Jeff Goins, Writing Fiction
When Jeff Goins wrote this line, he was talking about writing and pushing his boundaries in writing fiction, but he could very well have been writing about the Hendrick’s Gin brand. What makes the gin maker’s success is its unusual character and its unwavering commitment to the digital world it created.
What do you think? Share your comments below, no matter how peculiar!