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Creative Brand Activation

Roe & Co Irish Whiskey (Diageo owned)

Another example of how it works at M.Y.O

“This totally makes sense for you to do – you’re both so brilliant and more brands should be looking into working with you. Well done.” Ruta, Diageo (lead on Roe & Co campaign)

So, aside from hosting lots of regular creative classes in our London Bridge studio, we do lots of other creative things, one of which is help companies bring their brands to life. We've done quite a few of these (with brands like Beefeater Gin, River Island, Warner Music, St. Katherine Docks), so we thought it may be useful to walk you through another one of them!

How it started

Jordan who was working at Hatch PR at the time got in touch in August 2018.

“....Hi guys, We're sounding out potential partnerships with craft providers ....in the coming months. As part of the activation, we're going to be running a series of crafty workshops for creatives, journalists and consumers, and want to work with someone who already has a presence within South London. We don't have the finite details as of yet but wanted to see if this sounds like an area you would be interested in? In essence, we think it would run as a BRAND NAME x MYO collaboration with new and exciting crafts, linked to Ireland where possible, across your venues. It would be great if you could contact me so we can discuss this further! Cheers...”

Jordan had quite a clear idea structure wise of what he wanted to do and bundles of enthusiasm to go with it, both of which were great. We’re always happy to work through campaign ideas too. We asked a few questions to get clarity on the mechanics of the arrangement, then a call was set up for a few days later after they had fed back some more information on us to the client.

At this stage our creative juices started flowing as we really had to come up with nice ideas that would be great for the campaign, based on the limited details we knew about the brand and what the agency and client wanted to achieve at that stage.

Who was it for?

As things evolved, it turned into a lovely campaign we were asked to pitch for, for a Diageo owned Irish whiskey called Roe & Co (which is bloody delicious by the way).

  • A series of on-site creative sessions in our studio
  • A creative station at the London launch party and some bespoke merch for guests
  • Along with potentially hosting mobile events further down the line. 

It was really exciting to be asked to help breath life into a new product at such and early stage of M.Y.O, especially as it had an Irish background too (I’m from Dublin!).

On receipt of a look book of the campaign from Jordan, outlining branding, target audience, story of the brand (particularly it’s Irishness, harping (!) back to an old whiskey distillery based out of Dublin that inspired the brand, the commitment to re-use and also how they are trying to re-imagine whiskey).

Creative ideas....

We got to thinking! Tonnes of things sprung to mind, we had 2 studios at the time, one of which was in Peckham Levels - a converted car park turned into creative studios, bars and restaurants - possibly the ultimate re-imagination of a space! The brand also wanted links to creatives, which we were obviously providing and were surrounded by, along with hosting them every night of the week. The target audience (CAMs) of the brand were also general visitors to Peckham Levels. The whole campaign, quite quickly, started to feel right and make a lot of sense, Jordan had clearly thought this through before getting in touch with us.

We now drafted a proposal based on incorporating re-use, the brand, mobile and on-site fun creative sessions, Irishness and all the other requested elements. See below for a sense of what was in the proposal. Costs etc. have been removed - we’re reasonable, don’t worry!

Sort the finer details

Now it was just about working through dates, agreeing activities, showing the client (Ruta from Diageo) the studio and getting to it! Events were quickly slated from January to April, with the launch party happening in late January in TT Liquor in Shoreditch. For all the sessions in our studio, we ended up taking care of the venue set up (and Roe & Co branding), sourcing all equipment / materials, arranging teachers to run sessions Diana and I didn’t host ourselves, arranging for suitable guests to come (along with listing events on Eventbrite) and handling customer service, helping promote the events and generating content - basically everything to do with running the creative part of the campaign and getting guests to come. We also set aside a couple of days for filming content for it with the Roe & Co ambassador, Alan.

Soft launch party

Creative brand activation with M.Y.O

For the soft launch of the bran in London in late January 2019, to make it special, we hand made some lino printed Roe & Co tote bags, decoupaged some old whiskey bottles, made up some chalkboards with whiskey recipes and made a mini creative studio in the cocktail bar it was held, where Diana and I hosted a drop in brush lettering session throughout the evening where 20 guests at a time could learn to brush letter and write quotes inspired by the brand in 20-45 minutes - whiskey is liquid sunshine, the light heart lives long, when life hands you lemons make whiskey sours - you see what we’re doing! It took quite a while to break a 2-2.5 hour session into a beginner friendly 20+ minutes, but we did it!

Aside from hosting the creative session, I also gave a little speech with my fellow Irish comrade Alan (the Roe & Co ambassador) about what the campaign was about and why we were so happy to be involved in it. I wish we got better photos as were running around so much! Photos below largely courtesy of Hatch. Some press which Hatch PR sorted can be found -> Verge Magazine, House of Coco, Whisky Magazine, Jermyn Street Journal and Hatch did a nice write up on it too here.

What was the feedback like?

So many guests during and after the night said it was so much fun, especially being able to do something creative, memorable and unique at a launch event and that they’d really like to come to our other classes too. It boded well for the on-site creative and whiskey tasting sessions in our Peckham Levels studio, we were excited!

Weaving the brand into creative classes

Some of the creative classes we did during the brand activation campaign

What followed was packed to the rafters open to the public creative classes in Peckham Levels.

  • Brush lettering class with professional calligrapher Alice Gabb
  • Decoupaging whiskey bottles with Diana and I
  • Lino printing with master printmaker Jamie Temple

All of which had a 30 minute whiskey tasting session within them too, so guests got to taste the delicious Roe & Co whiskey, learn about its history (George Roe was for whiskey what Arthur Guinness was for, well, Guinness back in the early 1900's before Prohibition struck!), learn to make something linked to the brand, posted about it on social media and took home a reminder of Roe & Co - really helping to plant a bit of a seed of the brand with their target audience. Hatch also arranged a creative press night where we did decoupage and whiskey tasting with journalists.

Throughout we posted content on it, and published the videos that were made in our studio, see below for part 1 and here for part 2.

What then and thanks

After the series of 4 creative sessions, the focus of Roe & Co turned back to the grand opening of their HUGE distillery in Dublin - check it out! The campaign was very much about dipping the toes of the brand into London to see what London CAMs felt about it - the feedback was really good. We hope to be involved again with helping the brand grow in London and the UK in the future and were delighted to be asked to be involved in the first place. Thank you Jordan for taking a punt on us, the Hatch PR team (particular shout out to Gus), Diageo (shout out to Ruta and Jenna) for letting little old M.Y.O breath creativity into your brand activation campaign. It was a pleasure. Thanks to Phaded for filming the videos too and was great to meet you Alan, the Roe & Co ambassador).

Lessons learned

Always be learning. Bringing creativity to an event makes it special and memorable, we’re convinced and see it every week, so get in touch if you have any events / product launches in mind! We learned tonnes from this one and have lots of ideas for making yours a huge success also.

Bespoke and branded merch for brand activation campaign

Would you like some help bringing your brand to life through creative workshops?

Drop an e-mail to Hello@MYO.Place and let's chat! We brought a boat load of creativity to The St. Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival 2019, helped cocktail makers at the Beefeater Gin World Cocktail to design t-shirts, helped all the support staff The Brit School get creative, hosted influencers at a River Island pre-Christmas event and tonnes more.

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