What's hot in this sector? Sports (particularly auto racing and golf), recipes, games, sweepstakes, and music dominate the creative in this sector.
On the recipe side of things, Skyy Vodka sends out a weekly "Drink of the Day" newsletter, containing seven new Vodka recipes, one for each day. The newsletter itself is rather bland compared to some of the competition, but it does get the Skyy name in front of clients on a regular basis. The company also puts out a much fancier newsletter announcing its sponsorship of the San Francisco Film Festival, as well as promoting Skyy merchandise such as iPod cases and watches. It also drives traffic to the site:
Here is a graph of their e-mail drops (blue line) overlaid on top of the Web Reach per Million number as recorded by Alexa. As is evident, there is a strong correlation between the e-mail drop and spikes in traffic to the Skyy site. The newsletter drop is the second blue line from the left.
Bacardi on the other hand has chosen to advertise in the "All Recipes" e-mail newsletter as well as on the Tickle dating newsletter. Again, according to the Alexa data, the All Recipes ad seems to be a strong traffic driver.
Bolla wine sends out a beautifully designed stand-alone recipe newsletter. This month's newsletter featured Bolla's Pinot Grigio wine with a recipe for a seafood salad.
Royal Crown is big on race cars and sends out updates on races where their sponsored car can be seen. Jim Beam is also heavy into NASCAR, with a beautifully designed and elegant newsletter. On the other hand Gentleman Jack is big on fantasy golf and is giving away "an authentic Tiger Woods U.S. Open autographed pin flag in a custom framed display, a Callaway Driver, and a Gentleman Jack Golf Bag!" to the winners of the fantasy golf game.
Fosters Beer has a younger demographic in mind with their sponsorship of the Rip Curl Boardmasters, a surfing competition and "UK's largest free lifestyle sports festival and the only UK leg of the ASP World Qualifying Series."
Music and Lifestyle:
And speaking of younger lifestyles, NewCastle Brown Ale is sponsoring a sweepstakes featuring the band Green Day, while Southern Comfort is promoting the Voodoo 05 music festival in New Orleans (assuming everything is cleaned up in time). Miller Beer goes more urban by sponsoring the hip-hop concert Flavor2Savor.
The only real breakout in the bunch is Absolut. For Absolut, it's all about Art with a capital "A." The company's e-mail newsletter promoted and provided a link to Absolut Metropolis where they invited and documented ordinary people in Tokyo to 'interpret" the Absolut brand. According to the newsletter: "The project ABSOLUT METROPOLIS was photographed in Tokyo in April with the cherry trees in blossom, by world renowned photographer Nadav Kander. One of Japan's most daring street fashion designers, Pyuupiru, acted as the godfather for the project and the young creators' self-expressions."
What's amazing is how closely these companies target their specific demographic profiles through design, sponsorships, and sweepstakes. All of the brands in this market sector clearly know who their audience is.