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Beam’s Hornitos tequila runs mobile marketing campaign

August 19, 2009

Taking the bull by the Hornitos

Taking the bull by the Hornitos

Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc.’s Hornitos tequila is using mobile to engage its technologically-savvy consumers and increase brand awareness.

Hornitos partnered with to offer consumers the opportunity to buy Hornitos cocktails for friends via mobile phone or email. The media partners for the “Buy Your Amigos Hornitos” campaign are Valueclick,,, ESPN Deportes,, and Yahoo.

“The strategy behind the program is to get consumers to talk about Hornitos in the bar, get them to buy it for each other and get new people to sample the product,” said Gary Ross, associate brand manager for Sauza, the Deerfield, IL-based tequila devision of Beam. “Our target demographic is men roughly 25 to 34 who identify more with a premium brand.

“We like to focus on cutting-edge technology like mobile, because we know they are using it,” he said.

Location-sensitive entertainment listings service buzzd is implementing the campaign on mobile.

Legal purchase-age consumers can use their mobile phones to visit the mobile site at or the Hornitos Web site at to send a personalized note and prepaid gift card to friends.

Beam claims the mobile site is the first-ever to let consumers buy their friends drinks.

Hornitos has agreements with 115 participating bars in 14 different large U.S. markets: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, NC, Chicago, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, New York, Scottsdale, AZ, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington, DC, Chicago and Dallas.

This program is open to any bar or restaurant that wants to join.

Hornitos partnered with to build this program, which allows gift recipients to receive their drink gift via email, gift card or text message.

With the text-messaging capability, users can access their gifts via mobile phone while at participating bars or restaurants.

Gift recipients can find out which bars and restaurants in their area accept the gift cards and codes either online or on the mobile site.

“This is our first time running a mobile marketing campaign,” Mr. Ross said. “We have other cutting-edge-technology marketing programs and we hope to continue to expand on them going forward.”

Last year, Hornitos launched one of the brand’s most aggressive advertising and re-positioning campaigns in years, supported by a $15 million marketing spend.

“We do print advertising for the brand, but the call to action for this campaign has an online focus,” Mr. Ross said. “We’re running some online media placements driving people to our dedicated site, working with brands like and to post banner ads, both static and rich media.”

Hornitos is also tagging national print advertisements with 2D codes in Playboy magazine with a note to consumers saying “Scan the code. Get the girl.”

By using the scanning program on a mobile phone, legal purchase age consumers can snap an image of the bar code located in the print advertising and be taken directly to a site featuring a bonus picture of Miss July.

Consumers can visit to download the free software for mobile phones.

Hornitos, originally available as a Reposado tequila, unveiled two additional variants — Hornitos Plata and Hornitos Añejo.

Hornitos also introduced its “sip, shoot and savor” strategy in direct response to an evolving category and consumer demand for a Hornitos variant for all consumption occasions.

“Sip, shoot and savor” educates consumers on the diversity of tequila: Hornitos Plata is versatile enough for mixed drinks, Hornitos Reposado can be enjoyed as a shot and Hornitos Añejo should be sipped.

In addition to Hornitos, Beam Global Spirits & Wine’s brands include Jim Beam bourbon, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Maker’s Mark bourbon, Laphroaig Scotch whisky, Larios gin, Whisky DYC, Teacher’s Scotch whisky, DeKuyper cordials and liqueurs, Knob Creek bourbon and Starbucks liqueurs.

“Our consumers are obviously very big users of mobile technology,” Mr. Ross said. “The ability to share Hornitos with a friend, wherever they are, is a very appealing part of the program.”

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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