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Spirited Spotlight – Candy & Cocktails & Chopin Vodka

The Importance of Building Brand Friends 📲

  • Whether you think it’s the actual brand responding to your comment or a fellow social media manager, there is always an excitement when your favorite brand becomes a friend on social media. That’s how the story started for Chopin Vodka and Sugarfina USA LLC. When we execute community management at SPIRITED MEDIA | Marketing for Beverage Brands, we consider many factors. Outside of connecting with the existing community and new eyes, we emphasis building relationships with like-minded brands. What first started out as commenting on each other’s posts turned in to conversations over the DMs, resulted in the fruition of two successful product launches in the span of a year. So this is you reminder, show your support and connect with brands you love on social because you never know what could happen next.

The Power of Collaboration 👯♀️

  • Popular and unexpected collaborations are taking center stage across social media spanning across industries. There truly is a power to an authentic collaboration, between founders connecting behind-the-scenes or the community leading the charge. As a brand, you can approach B2B (brand to brand) collaborations in many ways. Our favorite? Find a brand who shares similar values, has an identical target audience, and is in an entirely different industry or category. Added bonus if the collaboration is a solution to what your community has been asking for!

Marketing Moments with Supervisor, Michaela Mueller

Feelin’ Lucky 🍀

  • Last month, Kahlúa challenged the traditional St. Patrick’s Day narrative with a playful and unexpected campaign. Instead of focusing on the usual green beers and Guinness, they offered a tempting (and trending) alternative – the Irish Espresso Martini. “Feliz St. Patrick’s Day,” took a jab at the dominance of stout on the holiday with a commercial featuring an Irish pub scene, complete with traditional folk music. Except the pint of Guinness is replaced by an Irish Espresso Martini. Genius.

The Power of Nostalgia 📼

  • It’s no secret nostalgia has been a key marketing tactic over the years, fueled largely by Gen-Z’s obsession with pop culture and socially native origins. With movies like Barbie gracing the big screen, the resurgence of Y2K aesthetics, and brands turning to retro packaging design, it’s clear that nostalgia is a powerful tool for brand marketers. Evoking feelings of happiness, comfort, and security, we don’t see this type of marketing going anywhere anytime soon. When used strategically, it allows brands to create strong emotional connections and build lasting relationships with customers.

Long Live TikTok 🎥

  • On March 13th, a new bill aimed at dismantling TikTok as we know it, was passed by the House with overwhelming support. If signed into law, the bill gives ByteDance, TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, two choices: Sell TikTok within six months, or lose access to app stores and web-hosting services in the United States. This development has brands and creators alike thinking about what a TikTokless social media landscape would look like.

Creator Craze with Coordinator, Samantha Harris

Forget a “Good Fit” 🤝

  • As we grow further into the era of creator and brand partnerships, it can begin to feel as if we’ve seen all of the “correct” collaborations – from large groups of wellness girls being sent on trips by skincare brands to fashion influencers finding their seat at a perfectly themed dinner. For this reason, it can come as a shock to see some brands taking a more unexpected approach and abandoning the idea of a “good-fit.” We’re seeing a rise in partnerships with online personalities who, at first glance, might seem like an odd fit for the product. Take Ford, for example, who recently teamed up with TikTok dancer Charli D’Amelio. This surprising influencer choice sparks curiosity and breaks through the noise of saturated social media feeds. Try focusing on aligned values rather than industry categories when considering which influencer personalities can truly capture attention and drive brand engagement.

Consider a New Love Language 💌

  • What once was an organic, free product to influencers is turning into a more strategic reach for brands to get their name out there. The luxury of less expensive promotion for brands and new arrivals of products for influencers has come at a cost. Although it may come at the expense of being taken off of PR lists, many influencers are coming forward and sharing their concerns around this gifting craze – waste, overconsumption, pressure to post, and much more. This could be a helpful insight for all parties including brands, fans, and influencers alike. It could benefit brands to reassess their lists and focus on whether influencers show an affinity or deep interest in their brand. Fans could take this as a time to dive deeper into what they’re being sold – whether or not the influencer truly appreciates the product they’re promoting, or if it is a simple result of a free product. Lastly, influencers can be more selective about the products they post in order to save brands from quickly adding them to a promotional list. Gifting can be such a useful way to organically promote a product, but intentionality is key!

“Niching Down” 🎯

  • Have you ever tried to explain to your grandparents what a “popcorn dessert bowl” influencer is? As the influencer world becomes increasingly saturated, there’s been a massive shift toward more niche titles. Especially on platforms like TikTok, what once was the “lifestyle, vlog-type” influencer has shifted to a title much more specific. This is particularly relevant to those in influencer marketing as people are building a greater amount of affinity for a brand when being promoted by a micro versus macro influencer. The key lies in their followership – these influencers’ communities are niche, tight-knit, and will stand by their small corner of the internet.

Design Developments with Designer, Michaela Lucas

Unpacking Sustainable Design ♻️

  • With Earth Day this month, it’s especially fitting to discuss the influence of climate change on design trends. The most notable eco-conscious trend gaining traction in graphic design specifically is sustainable packaging. Recycled paper and cardboard, reusable glass bottles, compostable packages, and water soluble inks have been reimagined to evoke luxury. Not only does this trend help preserve the environment; it also provides a less wasteful and more engaging experience for consumers, as well as contributes to the ethos of the brand.

Energy Efficient Windows* 🪟

*Browser windows, that is

  • Digital pollution is a real thing, and will likely continue to increase as technology becomes more embedded into our daily lives. How could this affect the UX/UI industry? Seriously committed eco-conscious brands may begin to translate their environmental efforts to the digital realm by minimizing the energy required to load their website. This includes opting for embedded graphics instead of high-resolution photos, utilizing system fonts only, and limiting pages and animations to only the essentials. This case study for the Die Trying Collective, designed by members of the Barbarian group, proves how UX/UI design can be visually engaging while still maintaining a sustainable mission.

Design Growing Organically 🌱

  • The “organic” design trend has gained popularity in the past few years due to its ability to connect with audiences through an authenticity appeal. Drawing inspiration from nature, elements like hand-sketched illustrations, muted color palettes, and natural textures express rawness and human error. Consumers looking to reject the idea of filters and perfectionism on social media may gravitate towards organic design because it feels more down-to-earth and attainable.


April 8, 2024

Last Call – April Newsletter