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Jack Daniel’s Second #SummerSwarm Adds User-Friendly Features

  |  June 9, 2014   |  Comments

A photo-sharing campaign for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey has returned for a second summer with new elements to make it easier for Millennials of legal drinking age to participate.

Jack Daniel's has brought back a weekly summertime photo-sharing initiative for its Tennessee Honey product for the second year, adding new elements to make it more user-friendly.

That includes one-click registration via social platforms as well as easier submissions from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #SummerSwarm, says senior brand manager Casey Nelson.

Jack Daniel's has also added MMS so users can register their phone numbers and text photos. Previously users had to upload photos manually, Nelson says.

"It's really, really easy to participate in the program," he comments. "We looked at the key behaviors that our target audience were already exhibiting."

Nelson adds, "Last year, the pictures were really random and we had some from all over, so we thought, ‘Why don't we provide direction throughout the course of the campaign to see if we can get some pictures that make sense and tell a story and encourage participation?'"

That means the 2014 #SummerSwarm program invites Millennial fans of legal drinking age to "grab your friends, take your best shots, and upload the pics" for eight themed weeks.

The first theme challenge is the Great Outdoors. The website says, "Camping out in the country, laying out in the city, hiking the trails - let's see what goes down when your friends step out."

The site also provides sample images and enables users to sort submissions by Most Popular, Most Recent, Winners, and Editor's Picks.

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey is a three-year-old product, which makes it still a relatively new brand, Nelson says.

"As the brand started to grow, we were looking at different program windows that would be a good fit...and beyond standard sports and music, we felt it was an opportunity to introduce Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey as a great option for summer entertaining," Nelson comments. "It's very easy to drink, it's mixable, and it's delicious, which overcomes the stigma that whiskey is a fall/winter drink."

The brand also looked at existing behaviors and wanted to "tap into their behavior of sharing as a social currency," Nelson says. "In other words, braggability. The, 'Look what I'm doing. I'm at this amazing restaurant or on this amazing adventure or camping trip or I'm skydiving.'"

What's more, Nelson says its consumers already love sharing and having a dialog with Jack Daniel's.

"We have a very unique consumer base that loves interacting with our brand and loves sharing opinions," Nelson says. "We have more unsolicited photos than I think a lot of other brands and we really were just tapping into behavior consumers are already showing that they really like."

To wit: Jack Daniel's has more than 5 million Facebook likes and the Tennessee Honey product single-handedly boasts more than 1 million.

The brand is working with Facebook and Twitter in paid efforts and has teamed up with BuzzFeed and Gawker as content partners to push the campaign.

In the first three days this year, Nelson says Jack Daniel's received almost a quarter of the total submissions from last year, which numbered in the thousands, although he did not provide specifics.

Jack Daniel's is also using the hashtag #SummerSwarm and has posted a YouTube video about the effort.

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Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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