Whiskey brand plays catch-up on Facebook and Twitter, trailing competitors.
Fans of HBO's Boardwalk Empire know that Canadian Club Whisky has received plenty of product placement shots during the Prohibition Era drama. The brand's social media team has attempted to not let the opportunity go to waste, timing Facebook and Twitter posts with the in-show appearances.
For instance, Canadian Club has authored 18 Facebook posts referencing the show since late summer. Several other posts mention the brand's place in Prohibition history.
The brand has a modest social media presence - 56,000 Facebook likes and 4,000 Twitter followers. In an effort to bolster the latter number, for Sunday's episode, the brand is running a contest where it will give away Boardwalk Empire swag such as T-shirts and other items to people who follow Canadian Club on Twitter.
The brand, owned by liquor giant Beam Inc., has social media challenges that could be related to age demographics. It's not an accident Beam Inc. struck deals with Boardwalk Empire's team and AMC's Mad Men marketers for product placement. Both shows are set in bygone eras.
In 2007, it ran an ad campaign exclaiming, "Damn Right Your Dad Drank It", including radio, out-of-home, point-of-sale, and print buys. The Canadian Club effort was designed to put a nostalgic twist on Oldsmobile's 1980s "It's Not Your Father's Oldsmobile" campaign. The "Dad" theme didn't become a staple tag line for Canadian Club.
Despite recent efforts, Facebook and Twitter don't appear to be staple channels for many consumers to engage with Canadian Club.
Meanwhile, other whiskey/bourbon brands are faring better, at least when it comes to social media. Sister brand Jim Beam has 980,000 likes and 11,000 followers. Even Wild Turkey, considered more of a rail bourbon compared to Canadian Club's shelf status at the bar, has almost 3.5 times more Facebook likes than Canadian Club with 199,000. Maker's Mark has 119,000 Facebook likes and whiskey giant Jack Daniel's registers 2.3 million.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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