Randall Ryles work career took her through Edelman and Team Epiphany where she worked as an account executive and account manager respectively before she joined Nike Communications (NikeComm).
Randall started out as senior manager at NikeComm and moved up to eventually oversee influencer marketing. As director of influencer marketing, her role is a blend of PR and influencer marketing.
“We are creating media events, so to speak, where we invite our influencers. But we also do the digital-focused campaigns where we might do a content shoot. We have influencers doing a full content series where they go out, post that on social media and do a full campaign around that.”
Founded in 1984, NikeComm is a luxury PR firm and marketing agency.
“We focus on a range of clients. It’s really multifaceted. We have clients in consumer, spirits, beauty and fashion. But the digital team largely works on spirits brands like Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire and really a bunch of spirits under the Bacardi portfolio, as well as YSL beauty, and Gillette which is a shaving razor. We do different influencer campaigns for all of those clients. We are also building out a content team in-house that focuses on content production specifically.”
The Grey Goose Martini Campaign
The concept behind the campaign is the idea that the martini is becoming one of fashion’s hottest accessories.
“For Grey Goose, they really want to focus on the martini. They want everyone drinking martinis this holiday season. It’s a global campaign. We are contracting influencers to show how they are drinking martinis whether it’s at a holiday party or out at a restaurant with friends, and how they are putting their own twist on it. So, you might drink an espresso martini then add some liquor or whatever it is that’s your own touch. And then encourage your followers to drink martinis with Grey Goose.”
Randall observes that even before this campaign, martinis were already surging in popularity which was an opportunity to drive awareness of Grey Goose martini.
“On my feed, everyone that I followed was drinking martinis. I don’t know if it’s a New York thing. I even have friends who are not influencers who go to different bars to try to find the best espresso martinis. It seems espresso martinis are in. Influencers and celebrities are posting it and it is like fashion’s next best accessory. By using the right influencers, we can make this own-able to Grey Goose.”
Identifying Influencers for the Campaign
NikeComm has contracted many influencers for the campaign. The team performs an in-depth look of each influencer beforehand.
“They have to be on brand for Grey Goose. We have specific filters that we run all of our partners through. Those filters help us understand if they align with Grey Goose’ brand. We look at their feed. We make sure they create really beautiful content.
There is a core group of influencers NikeComm dubs the ‘Grey Goose Flock’ that the agency works with on Grey Goose campaigns.
“They are long time friendlies of the brand. We’ve been working with them for a really long time. They perform exceptionally well for the brand. We activate with them on a number of activations and sometimes they even come to us and ask ‘Hey, I’m doing this little project. Does Grey Goose want to support?’ It is an integrated partnership.”
The martini campaign involves other influencers as well.
“We have different influencers for different verticals. So some are focusing on how the martini is incorporated in their holiday style. And then others are focused on holiday gatherings and holiday hosting where they might be doing a friendsgiving or some type of gathering before the Christmas or New Year’s holiday. You’ll see them incorporating the martini in their hosting content.”
On Instagram and YouTube
The martini campaign went live just before Thanksgiving and will continue running on Instagram and YouTube through the new year.
“We have some Instagram reel content where you’ll see the influencer making the martini. You will see some holiday content where influencers are with their friends at a party. And then holiday styles meaning they might be getting dressed up to go to an office party or whatever holiday event throughout the season and styling themselves with a martini.”
YouTube campaign content will vary by market.
“We’re working with UK influencers, French influencers and US influencers. The French market will focus on recipe and food content. The other markets will focus on the holiday style and hosted content.”
Content creation for the campaign is largely left to the creators to ensure it is relatable and authentic.
“They know their followers best and what will resonate with them. Our team puts together a content brief that will have all of our content guidelines. It’ll go over what the goal of the content is. We give them some inspiration and mood boards to ideate off of. From there, it is up to the creator to figure out based on their upcoming plans, what they’re going to be doing, the setting, where they will be and what will make the most sense for where they’re going to shoot. After they shoot, they send it to us to review and we work with them from there.”
NikeComm understands the kind of content and techniques that are likely to work.
“We have a true relationship with the creators. We generally can have the right to repost their content on Grey Goose channel so that we get added exposure. We try to work in other ways to really boost this content, make sure consumers are engaging with it and understand the key messages of the campaign.”
Campaign performance is measured against engagement and impressions.
“We also measure swipe ups and purchases. For this campaign, we don’t have a cocktail kit but we do have an Alessi kit. We partnered with Alessi, a brand which creates barware tools. The influencers will swipe up to purchase the Alessi kit so they can make a martini with those tools.”
Lessons and Advice for Brands
A key learning point for Randall from the campaign is the importance of adhering to legal guidelines.
“There’s a ton of legal guidelines when you’re working with a spirits company. You have to make sure that you are not promoting overconsumption, that there’s no other brand included in their images and artwork, that the image is high quality etc. We have to make sure that our agency is the first line of defense in terms of legalities before it goes back to the brand for review.”
She emphasizes the need for brands to identify the right creators to work with for each campaign.
“We don’t have to go to the influencers that are already getting tapped for every project. What about the micro influencers or those with a specific niche? Find the person that already talks about these things. It’s like a natural fit and the content is relatable so that it doesn’t come across like we are just paying them money to talk about this.”
Randall Ryles is Director of Influencer Marketing at Nike Communications, Inc (NikeComm). Sh. Before joining NikeComm, Randall worked at Team Epiphany and Edelman. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Howard University. Randall lives in New York, NY.