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Patrón’s First Cross-Country Tour Creates Interactive Tasting Experience Based on Social Media Data

The spirits brand is hitting culinary events, festivals, and concerts across the U.S. for its “Patrón the Summer" campaign.

By Mitra Sorrells June 29, 2017, 7:02 AM EDT

At Patrón's activation at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, guests pretended to mix cocktails in the GIF photo booth.

Photo: Courtesy of Patrón Tequila

Patrón is using a new strategy to encourage consumers to experience tequila this summer. For the first time, the brand has embarked on a cross-country tour with stops at 30 food festivals, events, and concerts between Memorial Day and Labor Day. In each place, the brand is serving cocktails custom-created for that location based on data from Foursquare and social listening tools. The goal: to introduce spirits drinkers to the idea of using tequila for more than margaritas and shots.

“A lot of times we do our own events, Patrón-produced and managed. In this case we’re partnering with existing events to insure we capture people who might be new to tequila, and on their terms,” says Adrian Parker, Patrón’s vice president of digital marketing. “Summer is such a fun time, people want to get outdoors, but we’ve never really done a concerted event tour. So what better way to bring the cocktail to life than to hit these local markets? And instead of just giving you recipes, we’re creating them for you.”

At each event, guests can sample the cocktail created for that city or try one of three to four other options. To help them determine which drink may match their preferences, Patrón created a three-question quiz administered on tablets at each event. Abel McAllister provided production of the “Patrón the Summer” tour.

Prior to the tour, Patrón analyzed data about consumer taste preferences in 100 cities around the world. Some of that data comes from the more than 235,000 people who have accessed Patrón’s online “Cocktail Lab,” which offers recipes for more than 300 tequila-based drinks. The rest came from Foursquare, which provided data from three years for 12 million consumers around the world regarding the types of bars and venues they have visited. “With all of this data we were able to come up with educated guesses on what was trending, what was new, and what was hot in these cities,” Parker says.

The brand also is using artificial intelligence to reach consumers who cannot make it to one of their events. The Patrón Bot-Tender is a chatbot bartender that launched in May on PatronTequila.com, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter. Users can receive instant cocktail recommendations based on information they provide about their flavor preferences, ingredients they want to use, or the occasion when they will be drinking.

“We’ll touch hundreds of thousands of consumers via our sponsored events, our summer events, our own activations, etc. But we understand that’s just a fraction of the consumers that want to interact with our brand. So the Bot-Tender creates a great way for people who may not experience it directly to still engage with our mixology team,” Parker says.

In addition to the events across the United States, the brand is conducting a smaller tour in the United Kingdom and France.

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