By Evan DeSimone
Coffee-Mate recently took a dive into the growing world of influencer marketing. To promote its new line of “Star Wars”-themed creamers the company teamed up with a gaggle of popular YouTube influencers like Toby Turner, Matt Santoro and Justine Ezarik. Coffee-Mate marketing manager Kevin Holmes spoke to VideoInk about the campaign and why Coffee-Mate has embraced influencer partnerships as a way to build relevant content rather than creating a dedicated content studio.
What was your tipping point moment when you decided you needed to allocate budget to this kind of influencer-forward campaign?
We felt that our packaging design worked really well for this campaign, and wanted to get the bottles in front of as many people as possible. We wanted to tap into organic, passionate audiences to ignite excitement around the product and that influencers like Justine, Matt and Toby were an obvious choice.
What were the key factors in deciding on the right talent? And what advice would you have for other brand marketers, given you’ve already gone through the casting process, for selecting talent?
Having a strong partner is, of course, important, and [social video creative agency] Reach provided that for us. But we’ve had previous experience with influencers and that helps to understand the process. We wanted to find creators who were not only known for being Coffee-Mate users (and coffee fans), but also “Star Wars” fans that could tell a compelling story. Influencers have strong followings for a reason, so trusting in their creative direction goes a long way.
What are the main goals for campaigns of this type for Coffee-Mate — brand awareness, purchases, etc.? And how are you tracking that performance?
Our main goal for this campaign was to build awareness for our “Star Wars” edition bottles. We’re tracking these bottles closely and paying attention to what’s being said socially. Consumers are having fun with the partnership and have been impressed with the product.
What was something you know now about influencer-driven campaigns that you didn’t know when you first started on this campaign?
The enthusiasm they show for the product is always great to see: that they truly use what they are promoting. The influencers we worked with are quick, efficient and, most of all, savvy.
What’s Coffee-Mate’s view on one-off campaigns vs. holistic long-tail slates or production/content studio strategies similar to what Marriott and Red Bull are doing?
It depends on the brand and business needs. Overall, we want to have long-term relationships with talent, but that is something we as a brand need to grow towards within our own marketing. Marriott has done a fantastic job recently. We are starting to do the same thing. I had worked with Toby before on Hot Pockets and wanted to be sure to include him in this campaign, not only because he was a fit, but to help support his overall relationship with Nestle brands.