Inside R/GA’s ‘Hotel Noir’ Strategy

Why the agency used Instagram, Pinterest for Grey Goose

Add Grey Goose to the list of brands hiring popular Instagrammers to help get its message out.

To promote the Bacardi-owned vodka marketer’s new Cherry Noir flavor, Interpublic Group agency R/GA’s Chicago office commissioned four smartphone photographers to snap shots for its own Instagram stream—and share with their own followings, which total in the hundreds of thousands.

The talent: Dan Cristea (@konstruktivist), Andie Drye (@andielinn), Chris Ozer (@chrisozer) and Kai Regan (@blitzkregan). The target: 25-34 year old early adopters of new technology. The strategy: Allowing the photographers, “rock stars within the Instagram community,” according to R/GA creative director Chris Hayes, to tell “their story of what ‘Hotel Noir’”—the fictitious, fashion-and-music-themed setting for the campaign—“means through their eyes.”

The “Hotel Noir” motif was conceived in partnership with, Grey Goose’s former TV agency. The digital component—which launched August 23rd and is rolling out in a series of six chapters, the fourth due September 13th—also includes a Pinterest page, featuring images of hip hop artists like Kid Cudi and Questlove.

The overall popularity of food and beverage recipes on that platform made it a logical outlet for the brand’s message, according to R/GA account supervisor Michelle Roberts. “It really gives us an opportunity to insert our brand and our cocktail recipes into an environment where people are looking for that type of information,” she said.