Southern Comfort is rolling out its first wave of new creative since its July announcement that it is moving to an all-digital media buy strategy in the U.S.
The global brand continues to buy traditional media -- including television -- in other countries, but uses these in the U.S. only as negotiated promotional value-addeds to online programs.
The new campaign, from agency Arnold Worldwide, answers a question frequently asked by consumers unfamiliar with the brand: What is Southern Comfort?
Four 30- second commercials, which will appear on television outside the U.S. and online only here, use New Orleans -- the brand's birthplace -- as a backdrop. The spots' core message is that only the unique, versatile and inclusionary city of New Orleans could have originated the liquor that shares these same qualities.
One features young adults at a masquerade-style party; another shows jazz musicians and street scenes and compares the city's distinctive history and culture to the uniqueness of Southern Comfort; a third focuses on the brand's creator, New Orleans bartender M.W. Heron; and a fourth conveys the "drink responsibly" message by showing consumers using New Orleans taxis and streetcars.
The ads bring together elements known to appeal to the "attention-depleted" young adult online viewer: fast-paced, compelling, entertaining and bite-sized or "snackable" content, Southern Comfort U.S. brand marketing director Lena DerOhannessian tells Marketing Daily.
The videos have just started airing on Hulu in the SoCo New Orleans Bouillabaisse section, using the "Ad Selector" model that lets consumers select which Southern Comfort message they want to hear pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll.
Letting consumers pick the brand message adds an interactive element to the campaign and ties in with the message that Southern Comfort has different sides that appeal to a wide range of consumers and consumer interests, points out DerOhannessian.
The spots have also just started airing within replays of TV series favored by young adults on NBC.com, CBS.com, Fox.com and FX.com, and on Comedy.com, Break.com and MyDamnChannel.com. They began airing last month on music content sites, including Playboy.com's music channel, TheFader.com and Pitchfork.tv.
They are also being previewed on Southern Comfort's Facebook fan page, which is the hub of its new digital strategy.
In addition to the new ads, Southern Comfort has created original branded Web series for Break.com (just launching), MyDamnChannel.com (launching on Oct. 29) and ComedyCentral.com (launching mid-November).