THE MINISTRY OF MARGINALLY SUPERIOR TRANSPORT
‘How we grew Hendrick’s Twitter following more in one day than the channel had seen in the whole year’
Welcome to sardine hell’. ‘Another train delay selfie’. ‘I asked you to move down the carriage not eat your first born’. These are just some of the 7,000 daily lamentations lauded by our target audience on social media. Hendrick’s Gin defines itself as ‘The antidote to the ordinary’, so we saw an opportunity to step in and make these weary commuters’ travels marginally superior.
UK transport urgently needed to be slightly better.
Our key objective was to drive awareness through social. Until now, social media had been used to support existing experiential campaigns, but hadn’t developed it’s own place within the wider strategy.
The target market was people who share the same brand values: curiously minded individuals aged 28-40, who delight in discovering and sharing new things. Using Crimson Hexagon, we looked at what this audience was talking about, and the results were surprising. Everyone was talking about their commute, and how bad it was. Using this revelation we created our strategy: to ‘bring moments of peculiar delight to everyday journeys’ and recruit advocates for the brand.
Our solution was to create the Ministry of Marginally Superior Transport, an institution dedicated to serving as a modicum of light relief in the darkness of people’s daily travels. The Ministry was to be headed by Brand Ambassador, David Piper, together with his Deputy Ministers. Each day we set out to scour the social highways and reach out to distraught commuters, or those who proved themselves as a bastion of marginal superiority. We would then surprise and delight them in a multitude of curious ways.
A reactive campaign that marginally improved commuter journeys
The launch ran for two weeks. From Ministry HQ, we set out to film 5 reactive films and craft countless image and text responses to commuters each day on Twitter. We provided relief with a smorgasbord of witty responses, including blueprints for space increasing inventions, train delay bingo and relaxation meditations. The ministry also sent people physical inventions - Frantic Air Nudgers (beautifully bespoke illustrated hand fans) and Cramped Commuter’s Cocktail Compendiums - books with a secret cocktail compartment, enabling travelers to consume a tipple on their way home, even in the most preposterous of conditions. An army of tweeded paperfolk also took to the streets armed with fresh copies of Hendrick’s Unusual Times newspaper, which resulted in much giggling on train platforms.
But this wasn’t enough to rid the UK of the persistent transport woe conundrum. Our final response took the campaign to a crescendo with the launch of our most gargantuan solution: Hendrick’s Extraordinary Roving Bus of Exceptionally Refined Travel. Cunningly disguised as a giant cucumber, H.E.R.B.E.R.T roamed the streets of London and Edinburgh, dedicated to remedying the ills associated with terrible etiquette. Our bastions of travel served the perfect Hendrick’s Gin & Tonic aboard the heroic vessel, alongside cocktails and delectably unusual cucumber macaroons.
During the first two weeks of the campaign, We posted OVER 715 reactive tweets, making over 5.5 million impressions. Each day we had an average of 64 retweets, 177 likes and 44 replies. We also had some amazing comments from weary commuters, even converting some Hoxton Gin and Bombay drinkers. Our H.E.R.B.E.R.T tickets sold out in a matter of minutes, prompting Hendrick’s to create two more releases to keep up with the demand.
The campaign delighted ginthusiasts nationwide and most certainty made people’s journeys marginally superior.