In the newest iteration of the mixology trend, Phillips Distilling Company brand UV Vodka is now challenging bartenders in three key markets to compete in its Shake-up Showdown to win bragging rights as the best mixologists in town. The three markets are Chicago, where the Showdown ended in June, the Jersey Shore, which will run in August, and Iowa City, IA, which will host the events this fall.
The brand chose the markets to appeal to its three most valuable target consumers: urban sophisticates in Chicago, young, hip beach partygoers in Jersey, and college-aged post-Millennials in Iowa City. The competitions begin online, where interested bartenders can post original recipes using one of the UV Vodka flavors. Fans go online (driven by the eager competitors) to a branded microsite and vote for the drinks that they liked the best. All of the bars that sign on to compete get a promo kit from the brand to help drive awareness among the patrons. Once the voting period ends, the brand brings the top 10 bartenders to a head-to-head live competition in each market with celebrity judges and voting by event attendees deciding the ultimate winner. The programs are designed to promote the vodka to influencers, of course encourage trial by consumers and generate exciting unique content for the brand to leverage throughout the year.
“It’s a pilot program that we’re looking to expand next year,” Katie Alvino, marketing director at UV Vodka, told Buzz. “It’s a cross between ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Iron Chef’ and puts a great local face on the product for us.” Agency: Periscope, Minneapolis, MN.