A harmless Teese

Campaign: Be Cointreauversial

Client: Remy Cointreau

Agencies: Stellar*, dg3

Background

Cointreau’s primary challenge was to remain relevant with a new generation of discerning women and establish itself as the essential component in the most stylish cocktails. To do this, Cointreau needed to engage with its target consumers in an elegant yet unconventional way.

Dita Von Teese is seen as the perfect embodiment of Cointreau’s ‘Cointreauversial’ attitude. Her style, charisma, femininity and daring performances, often in a giant cocktail glass, exemplify the Cointreau brand and, in 2007, Von Teese was appointed to the role of global brand ambassador.

As part of this role, she created a unique burlesque performance specifically for Cointreau, theBe Cointreauversial Show, which she performs for a selected audience in major global cities around the world. She also designed her own signature Cointreau cocktail, the Cointreau Teese.

In September 2010 as part of her ambassadorship, Von Teese brought the Be Cointreauversial Show to Sydney and Stellar*, as the retained PR agency for Cointreau since 2009, managed a strategic communication program.

As Von Teese had never been to Australia for Cointreau before, her visit created the perfect opportunity to accelerate brand growth in the market and create an entire PR campaign to generate buzz and publicise her partnership with the brand.

Objectives

The PR program was to encompass multiple objectives, channels, messages and targets. Stellar*’s role was to ensure all elements were integrated and undertaken in line with the extensive global brand standards.

The goal was to build awareness, anticipation and excitement around Von Teese’s visit to generate word of mouth. Reconnecting target consumers with the brand was a key objective, as was bringing to life Cointreau’s brand essence. Stellar* was to amplify all activity and messages through social channels and inspire direct engagement with the brand and Von Teese online.

The specific objectives of the PR campaign were to maximise publicity opportunities around Von Teese’s visit, performance and her role as global brand ambassador; launch the Cointreau Teese cocktail and promote other signature Cointreau cocktails; coordinate the online global communications around the announcement of her visit; and launch the Cointreau Australia Facebook page. In addition to generating positive content and coverage, specific key message take-up was required.

Internally, the team’s objective was to create the best Be Cointreauversial Show activation the world had ever seen and to create ‘Dita fever!’

Strategy

A nine-month integrated program was rolled out that included a traditional PR strategy together with a social media strategy.

A tiered media matrix was created for each stage of activity encompassing print, broadcast and online outlets all targeting the Cointreau consumer. Media partnerships were also a key part of the strategy.

Facebook was selected as a key platform for interaction around Australian brand activity. The idea was to build a small community of Cointreau and Von Teese lovers as the foundation community for the page and to utilise the content and activity to stimulate engagement with the brand.

Execution

Seven months out from Von Teese’s visit, the publicity campaign began with the announcement of her arrival to long and short lead media for both immediate coverage and coverage just prior to her arrival.

A social media release was used to announce Von Teese’s visit online and Stellar* liaised with Cointreau’s global team and Von Teese’s management to ensure the announcement was coordinated via their global website and Von Teese’s website, enewsletter and Twitter profile.

The agency managed key media partnerships secured by the Cointreau brand team to cover every element of Cointreau’s alignment with Von Teese, from her arrival and performance to fashion shoots and consumer promotions. Alignments were secured with ACP magazines, resulting in three, six-page fashion shoots, three features and three consumer promotions in eight of their key publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Madison, Men’s Style, Cosmopolitan andGrazia. A partnership was also set up with Sydney Confidential to secure pre-arrival coverage and daily exposure during her visit. This was then syndicated across all other state outlets.

A Cointreau Australia Facebook page was launched to act as the central hub for brand communication and community engagement. A content plan was devised and rolled out, which included news and the uploading of images, video footage and regular cocktail recipes. A ‘vote to win’ Facebook competition was launched to ensure activity would be spread virally through Facebook networks. The prize was an exclusive Dita Von Teese experience including flights to Sydney, accommodation and tickets to the VIP only performance.

For event execution, Stellar* and the Cointreau brand team briefed in event production agency dg3 to produce and style the Be Cointreauversial Show. Over the space of seven months, the teams worked together to create an unforgettable and stylish party that would invigorate the Cointreau brand and create talkability. Stellar* also managed all elements of Von Teese’s one-week visit to Sydney including flights, accommodation, car and security, and her itinerary for the duration of the trip.

Prior to her arrival, Von Teese conducted a number of phone and email interviews, plus a shoot in Los Angeles with Harper’s Bazaar. While in Sydney, she then conducted a further 11 one-on-one interviews with a variety of print, broadcast and online media from Australia, New Zealand and India. In addition, she was the star of a further two fashion shoots and interviews for Madison and Men’s Style.

In order to engage trade and consumer media on a more personal level, Stellar* organised an intimate dinner for selected guests at Quay Restaurant, which was hosted by Remy Cointreau and Von Teese.

On the night of the Be Cointreauversial Show, a media call was set up with over 20 photographers attending. Immediately after the event, exclusive footage and photography was released to air online and on TV news that evening, and news and social pages the following morning.

The much anticipated performance saw the Australian Technology Park transformed into a luxurious and opulent space with especially designed catwalk bars and human chandeliers, especially designed cocktails by Merivale’s head mixologist Mike Enright, catering by celebrity caterers John and Peter, and entertainment from DJs Little Bambalam, Martini Club and, of course, Dita Von Teese herself.

Over 500 guests attended including Von Teese’s favourite band, The Presets, film director Phillip Noyce and myriad top Australian designers including Bianca Spender, Marnie Skillings, Leona Edmiston, Fernando Frisoni and Nicola Finetti.

Results

Overall the campaign was a resounding success, surpassing the objectives set. A total of 108 clippings were achieved, reaching 86,843,460 pairs of eyes as far afield as New Zealand, Spain and India. Key pieces included a front cover and three-page feature in Sunday Life, two interviews with Kyle and Jackie O and Sun Herald S‘s ‘party of the week’.

Eleven media interviews and pieces to camera were secured, while Von Teese was in Sydney, all featuring the Cointreau Teese cocktail. Coverage of the event also appeared on Channel Ten Late News.

Using Stellar* Analytics, Stellar*’s measurement and evaluation tool, key messages were tracked and analysed. Results showed that the Cointreau Teese cocktail was mentioned in 70 percent of clippings and the term ‘Be Cointreauversial’ was referenced in 33 percent of articles. In total, the sentiment was overwhelmingly positive.

The social media release proved an effective tool: it was viewed 2224 times and acted as a direct channel for consumer questions.

Cointreau Australia’s Facebook page grew organically from zero to 370 fans in three months and over 100 fans entered the Facebook competition, generating 3669 votes from friends and family. The page generated a solid level of interaction, relative to the size of the fan base, and Von Teese herself commented on the wall.

Perhaps the best result of all was Von Teese’s comment – “Of all the ‘Be Cointreauversial’ events all over the world, Sydney’s was the most opulent! I loved it!”