In 2008, American Brandstand did a study tracking the mentions of brands in American hip-hop songs. Out of the top 50 tunes, luxury brands ranked the highest in mentions with Gulfstream, Gucci, Lamborghini, Patron, Cadillac and Hennessy Cognac topping the list, beaten only by Nike at number one.
From this study alone, Moet Hennessy’s PR firm realized they needed to re-strategize who they were looking at as a target demographic, and turned to social media to do so, making Hennessy synonymous with online ingenuity. When launching their first new product since 1961, Hennessy Black, they reached out to a younger generationas well as their loyal, older fan base.
With an online dance competition for a prize of $10,000 (ending June 14, 2011), interactive Facebook and YouTube pages, and a “see and be seen with your Hennessy” Flickr page, their approach has made them a perfect example of leveraging social media to evolve a company. Senior VP Andrew Glaser stated that, “The campaign followed a two-year slump in cognac sales, but after the social media campaign sales were up in the first quarter and the brand is building on that growth to target younger demographics.”
Though luxury brands used to thrive on exclusivity – making social media a scary prospect for many in this niche, high-end industry – times and demographics are changing.