Patron Seeks Connections at 'Social Club' | Adweek
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Patron Seeks Connections at 'Social Club'

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NEW YORK Patron hopes to cozy up to tequila drinkers through a new community site that solicits information of new trends, clubs and eating establishments.

The "Patron Social Club," hosted by a video avatar "concierge" in a white suit, is a forum for its customers to find and share cool experiences.

Throughout their site visit, the concierge urges visitors to contribute content around food, drinks, nightlife, cars, technology and other lifestyle areas. All submissions are vetted before they go live on the site.

Like Anheuser-Busch's Bud.tv, the Patron Social Club has a multi-step entry process, requiring visitors to enter a user name, password, date of birth, full address, e-mail, then complete a questionnaire of their interest areas and brand preferences. Beyond the legally required information, the additional steps will give visitors a more customized experience on the site, despite the extra time required to get to it, said Megan Smith, brand relationship marketing, Richards Relationship Marketing, which crafted the campaign with parent agency The Richards Group and interactive sibling Click Here.

"We've tried to make the process as simple and easy as possible," she said.

Patron is following in the footsteps of brands like Coke and MasterCard, which have tried to build community-based Web destinations around the attraction to their brands. While others have found it hard going to establish communities, Patron has a cadre of premium tequila enthusiasts who already look to it for lifestyle cues, Smith said.

"They wear it often as a symbol or declaration of uniqueness," she said.

Patron hopes to turn that affinity into a customer-relationship marketing bond with users. The site offers an opt-out to receiving Patron marketing messages.

"The focus is creating a means to provide those who are advocates of Patron an opportunity to interact, and to find out how we can help improve and better their lives with providing information on trends and social scenes," she said.

The Patron Social Club site also includes background information on the making of the company's tequila, photos from Patron-sponsored events and a tool for finding out the history of each bottle of Patron tequila via a unique number included on each product.

The site is part of the Richards-crafted "Simply perfect" campaign, which launched a little over a year ago. The effort also includes simplyperfect.com, a site dedicated to debating perfection. The idea is while all forms of perfection are open to discussion, when it comes to tequila, Patron is crowned the best without debate.

Richards is supporting the site with print ads that will run in regional and lifestyle magazines like GQ, Details and Blender. It will also use direct mail and e-mail marketing, Smith said.