Partida Tequila: Video Confessionals

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Situation: Entrepreneur Gary Shansby founded tequila company Partida Tequila in 2005, after three years of development, because he saw younger consumers migrating towards spirits, rather than beer and wine. Web video has become a key component in the company’s marketing.

“The spirits category has changed dramatically in the last 15 years because of the movement of younger people who are kind of bored with wine,” he said. For a liquor company to succeed it must reach bartenders and convince them to carry and recommend their brands.

Problem: As a new company, Partida faced a business imperative to gets its tequila and its name in front of bartenders.

“The most influential person in the industry is the bartender and the best way to get to the bartender is through electronic media,” Mr. Shansby said.

Company: Partida Tequila

Industry: Beverage

Video play: The brand is using video to raise brand awareness among bartenders and patrons.

Strategy: By using video to teach bartenders how to make cocktails, and by publishing video confessionals from Tequila drinkers, the company is trying to establish a beachhead in a competitive market.

Result: Traffic to the company's Web site has doubled since it began featuring Web video.

Partida sponsored a blog for bartenders called, which includes weekly videos of bartenders talking about how to make new and innovative drinks. That was Partida’s first foray into Web video, but it wasn’t enough.

To build its profile and grow as a brand, Partida needed a broader and deeper online initiative. Partida also wanted to educate consumers about tequila as a liquor, how it’s made, where it comes from, and how consumers feel the next morning after drinking it. (Good, Mr. Shansby said.)

Solution: In mid-October, Partida launched a new online marketing campaign that included “Tequila Confessions,” featuring on-the-street interviews with consumers on their first experience with tequila. Partida worked with ad agencies DePlano Group and Tarantula Web on the campaign.

Partida shot videos for six months in advance of the launch of the video series. When consumers do an interview, Partida presents them with a card saying “I confessed. Check me out on”

Filmmaker Dusan Sekulovic is shooting the series. He shot the first videos in New York. Partida will do a casting call in cities around the country to continue the series, as well as expand the concept to include “Bartender Confessions.”

As part of the broader online marketing campaign, site visitors to can answer a quiz on tequila and become eligible to win a free trip to Mexico. The new campaign, dubbed “True Spirit of Tequila” also includes viral videos, podcasts, a re-designed Web site, bartender events, blogging, sweepstakes and online public relations with traditional trade and print advertising.

Three staffers are working on Tequila Confessions, including an interviewer, producer and the filmmaker. The cameras used to film the confessions were either a Sony HVR-V1U HDV or a Sony PD-150 MiniDV. They were shot in HDV 30p format.

Mr. Shansby estimates Partida will spend a few million dollars to produce the videos and on the campaign itself, which includes search marketing. About 50 percent of the company’s marketing budget is earmarked for Internet.

“We are tying to grow our share and get consumers to understand tequila,” he said. “It’s almost unprofessional to do it for less than $1 million.”

Evaluation: The campaign launched in October. Since then traffic to the site has risen by 200 percent. More precise results are not yet available.

Partida Tequila is trying to break into a crowded high-end tequila market with interview videos of drinkers and bartenders.