Transforming Brand Awareness Into Brand Engagement

The North Carolina Alcohol and Beverage Commission launched the statewide Talk It Out program in 2014 to help reduce underage drinking in North Carolina. The mission: reach and influence both parents and teenagers with real facts and tools to foster an honest two-way conversation to “talk it out” together.

Success by the Numbers

Increase in total website sessions
Increase in organic website sessions
In free media coverage
YouTube video views
Cumulative reach via paid media campiagns
Loyal social media followers
Increase in social media engagement

The Challenge

When We Started:
The ABC Commission hired 919 Marketing as their agency of record to transition the marketing strategy from simply brand building to creating real brand engagement. The program also lacked a data driven content marketing strategy to guide all content development including social media, website, and video production.

In order to address online marketing challenges, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the underage drinking topics parents and teens search for, discovered the topics that were driving traffic to the website, and the topics that motivated visitors to become program advocates.

A more non-traditional media approach was needed to reach more rural and urban families across the state via online media and streaming media outlets.

Talk it Out had been almost invisible in statewide news media since they started the initiative. They deserved to be the thought leaders related to all things related to underage drinking.

Talk it Out was underutilizing social media to reach, educate and create brand engagement with North Carolina families, High school leaders and coaches and other influencers.

How We Helped

Talk It Out Pledge Card:
919 introduced a downloadable pledge card for both parents and teens (different pledges) to sign and discuss with each other. The parent pledge card lists 5 promises to their teen and the teen card has 5 promises the teen makes to parents.

919 Insights:
Using our exclusive data analytics platform, we identified the exact topics driving parents, High School leaders and teens to the website and social media platforms, what content was actually being viewed (or ignored), and what topics led people to become brand advocates and download a pledge card.

Paid Advertising:
Based on the 919 Insights findings, 919 created and produced all broadcast, digital, OTC and native advertising and negotiated and placed all media in house.

We have also negotiated and implemented sports team sponsorships across the state and secured endorsements from high profile coaches.

Earned Media: (Public Relations)
919 quickly established select spokespeople as local, statewide, and national thought leaders via sustained free broadcast, online and print media coverage.

Social Media:
919 accelerated both audience growth, reach and engagement with North Carolina parents and teens across a roster of social media platforms – organic and paid content.

Owned Media:
A full roster of website content was needed to fully maximize the recommendations from the 919 Insights analysis. We also have developed a roster of blogs, infographics, and videos to use in social media and digital usage.