To celebrate Christmas 2015, Diageo, the distiller of Scotland’s finest single malt whiskies including Lagavulin and Oban, embarked on a social media campaign to achieve three goals including: (1) Change the appeal of single malt whiskey for younger consumers, (2) Become apart of the brand conversation on social media to connect with younger single malt whiskey consumers, and (3) Increase viewership on the YouTube channel ‘My Tales of Whisky’ which seems to achieve the first two goals.

As part of this campaign, Diageo partnered with actor, author, woodworker and scotch enthusiast Nick Offerman to create a Yule Log video in time for the Christmas season when people enjoy watching crackling fires.  For those who do not know who Nick Offerman is, he plays the character Ron Swanson on NBC’s hit TV show Parks and Recreation.

The campaign used was a single shot video for 45 minutes showing Offerman sitting next to the traditional holiday Yule Log and enjoying a bottle of Lagavulin in complete silence.

The simplicity of this campaign was what made it most successful.  The Ron Swanson character is known for being very manly—hence the use of scotch, a fine leather chair, a detailed wood library and a crackling fire.  Additionally, Ron Swanson’s character is known for being very quiet and a man of few words—hence the use of 45 minutes of video without a single word mentioned.

The combination of these factors created a viral video that was an instant success as it utilized the perfect combination of the right content creators, the right influencer, a great idea and a strategically executed campaign that can set the fire ablaze (pun intended).

So was this campaign successful?  Absolutely!  The key metrics from the campaign are as follows:

  • 175 national stories about the video
  • 840 million media impressions
  • 18 thousand new YouTube subscribers
  • 1 million YouTube views in only two days

Did you see this video during the holiday season?  How often do you watch Yule Log videos during the holidays? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Nick Offerman’s ‘Yule Log’