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How We Boosted Spirit of York’s Instagram Following by 224%

As the leading Toronto-based distiller of premium spirits, Spirit of York makes it possible for all Canadians to get instant access to superior products right at home — a novelty that deserves to be the talk of the town. At The Influence Agency, we knew we could take the home-grown brand to all new heights through experiential marketing, public relations, website design, and custom photography and videography. So we did just that — and boosted their Instagram follower growth by a staggering 224%.

EXPERTISE

Social Media

About Spirit of York

Located in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, Spirit of York is committed to crafting Canada’s best tasting spirits. Using the finest locally-sourced rye and water from the Canadian Shield, the spirits are truly an authentic Ontarian product — from grain to glass.

Spirit of York fuses time-honoured distillation techniques with modern processes, to deliver a superior quality with a taste of the unexpected. Their goal is to remind all Canadians that we are capable of creating great quality products right here at home.

Their Goals

Spirit of York was looking to increase brand awareness as the leading Toronto-based distiller of premium spirits, which include vodka, gin, whisky, and aquavit. Their goal was to reach a larger audience, support sales at LCBO locations, and position their distillery as the number one destination for tours, tastings, and private events.

This involved revamping their digital media presence with a complete website redesign and development project, ongoing social media management, custom photography and videography, content marketing, experiential marketing, and public relations efforts in order to support their goals.

Our Approach

Social Media: Custom Photography & Videography
We implemented a variety of digital marketing strategies to support their goals of increasing brand awareness, supporting sales, as well as encouraging attendance and foot traffic into the local distillery.

We implemented a social media strategy that involved custom photography to capture the various drink offerings and crafted cocktail options, as well as capturing the rich history of the brand, its Canadian roots, ongoing community initiatives and their location in the heart of Toronto’s historic Distillery District.
In conjunction with their nationwide TV commercial campaign in 2019, we launched their custom content series “From Grain To Glass” across their blog and social channels. The series featured interviews of the incredible Canadian vendors who produce the ingredients that make their spirits.In addition to the content series, custom videography was also leveraged to create cocktail and mixology how-to’s, as well as seasonal sizzle reels to remind audiences that the distillery is a go-to all year round.

Website Design & Development
In addition, we re-designed Spirit of York’s website to put their brand story at the forefront by showcasing their history, how they source their ingredients, and their distilling process.

By placing high-quality imagery at the forefront of the design, users are reminded of the premium, luxurious look and feel that Spirit of York is known for.

Experiential Marketing
When Spirit of York wanted to begin promoting their unique distillery tours in a captivating, engaging way, we uncovered a unique opportunity to execute an influencer and media event in the form of an exclusive kitchen launch party.

Guests embarked on distillery tours that uncovered the secrets of their distilling process, got a sneak peek of the seasonal menu, enjoyed expertly made cocktails prepared by Spirit of York’s top mixologists, food pairing stations, and a live musical performance by David Matisse from the Juno Award-Winning group Keys n Krates. Our in-house videographer and photographer captured the magical moments of the event, which provided creative collateral for use across their digital media channels for months to come.

Public Relations
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the world fought to stop the spread through social distancing measures and an increased focus on personal hygiene, which resulted in an increased demand for hand sanitizer, and a diminishing supply of it.

Later that month, Spirit of York became the first Ontario distillery to re-dedicate their production facility towards producing hand sanitizer for local residents and frontline workers that met World Health Organization standards, where all proceeds were redistributed to local food banks.In order to support their initiative, our team mapped out their public relations efforts to help drive this incredible effort, which resulted in media pick up from various outlets in Toronto and beyond, including: CP24, CTV News, Forbes, The New York Times, CBC, Toronto Life, Daily Hive, and more.

The Content

Social Media Growth

316

Total Instagram Posts

+3M

Total Instagram + Facebook Impressions

+64K

Total Instagram + Facebook Engagement

Before

After

Total Campaign Results

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