WASHINGTON, May 31, 2012 — Chances are that you have heard of Grey Goose. If you haven’t heard of David Castain, Director of Social Marketing at the company, you will. He is leading a wave of young professionals that excel in finding new ways to reach an audience.
Grey Goose is his latest challenge. A premium brand in a competitive industry. Since its introduction to America in 1997, many competitors have emerged.
Castain’s resume is impressive. He’s worked with Lebron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Diddy, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Drake, Jamie Foxx, Ludacris, Usher, BET and many more.
What may be more impressive is that he doesn’t hide from his past. A past that includes time served for Armed Robbery. He embraces it. He made mistakes, learned from them and has achieved years of success ever since.
America loves an honest comeback story. It’s worked for Michael Vick, Robert Downey Jr., and The Muppets. I never saw the E! True Hollywood Story of Kermit The Frog but I’m sure it’s not easy being green.
Castain is one of the country’s best promoters. He helped execute a voting campaign for new D.C. mayor, Vincent Gray.
It’s important to note that it was separate from and had nothing to do with Gray’s campaign strategy. That strategy is part of a long-running U.S. attorney investigation.
Personal branding is becoming increasingly important online. Castain is an expert at utilizing social channels for this. With a national platform (Grey Goose) and an expansive network, he is poised to become a thought leader in social marketing.
1. What is the future of social media? What will we be talking about in 12 months?
It’s almost unimaginable. It has already become a standard requirement in all industries to track customer reactions, opinions, problems, purchases, website traffic, etc. If you can manipulate social media then you can build a brand without ever leaving home.
In the next 12 months we could very well be talking about the integration of video tweets and status updates. Instead of seeing a thought in the form of text on your timeline, you would have the option of clicking a link and seeing a video version of that person vocally expressing the statement.
This is to say that instead of typing a tweet or a Facebook status, you would turn the camera on your phone toward you, make a statement and click send or tweet.
2. You are in a competitive industry. What do you do to differentiate Grey Goose from other competitors?
Both I and Grey Goose as a whole are committed to maintaining our position as a world-leader in super-premium vodka while continuing to be the luxury vodka brand of choice in every bar, restaurant, night club and social event throughout the nation.
It is not our wish to be the drink of the average weekend drinker who wants to obtain cheap alcohol in order to more easily experience extreme intoxication. Grey Goose has positioned itself as the drink of ladies and gentlemen. This is why I am in the process of implementing two new campaigns. One is entitled Grey Goose Gentleman and the other is entitled Lady Grey Goose.
The Grey Goose Gentleman campaign caters to the image of an exclusive group of arbiter elegantiae, members of the highest social order who are fashionable, civilized and respectable at all times. Grey Goose Gentleman portray extreme levels of finesse and act as significant role models for the inevitably gravitating population around them.
These gentlemen use their elevated status to espouse the excellent taste and preparation of Grey Goose to their entire social circle, who serve as leaders in all walks of life. They attain their fullest potential as individuals, enjoy gratifying and exciting lives, and contribute to the advancement, progression and prosperity of The World’s Best Tasting Vodka.
The Lady Grey Goose campaign portrays the image of an elite group of arbiter posh couture women. Each is hand-selected from the highest statuses and social circles for the way they exhibit exquisite style and class. The sophisticated poise displayed by our signature ladies cannot be replicated.
Much like the timeless existence of energy in our universe, their distinct presence can neither be created nor destroyed. Our chosen few use their elevated status and charismatic demeanor to encourage interaction with the luscious taste and preparation of Grey Goose Vodka. Through their interpersonal relationships they persuade their entire social circle and various networks to become Grey Goose connoisseurs.
3. As a promoter, you’ve worked with a lot of big names. How did you break in and have continued success?
It’s extremely hard to break into the nightlife industry in DC. One reason is because of the amount of competition. On any given night there can be anywhere from three to ten events targeting the same demographic as you.
So every night you take a chance at coming up short. I was able to minimize my losses and break into the industry by looking at every opportunity as an internship. I went in not taking no for an answer and trying my hardest to be a part of any and everything that was hot and happening in the District of Columbia.
If the event was not mine, it meant no overhead. So I could then just charge a service fee, if my name wasn’t big enough to require payment for my services I offered them free to increase my brand. After a while my name had gotten so big that I didn’t have to look for events to be a part of, the events came looking for me.
Now I am a part of about 90% of the big events that happen in DC. I arrange events for ages starting at 18 all the way up to about 45. This way I keep my brand in both markets and I grow with my crowd. I also have four Facebooks with about 15,000 friends, four twitters with over 80,000 followers, over 50,000 emails and over 50,000 phone numbers which help me to deliver information to my cliental.
4. What has been your favorite event to date?
It’s hard to pick just one event as a favorite. Each event is like my first all over again. I completely forget about the success of everything I have done before that night. All I can think is “I hope people show up, I hope people show up.”
I constantly check twitter before, during and after an event to see the people’s response. I rarely get to sit back and enjoy the festivities with everyone else. But If I had to choose my favorite event I would probably say it was the election event in 2010 that I put on for the Mayor of D.C., Vincent Gray.
The reason I would choose that is because more than often promoters are thrown into a category which labels them as people who can only throw parties. Having the opportunity to run a successful campaign for the mayoral candidate who won the 2010 election shows that my abilities go far beyond just nightlife events.
5. How important is personal branding for our generation?
Personal branding is extremely important for our generation. Employers now check Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. before hiring you. Unfortunately whether you like it or not information about you is and will be available for viewing on the internet.
The best thing to try and do is to make sure that it coincides with what is on your resume. So you should brand yourself accordingly based upon what image and brand you are trying to portray. In 2012, Google acts as an online resume that you never submitted, and it is your responsibility to control what’s on it.
6. What’s next for Grey Goose, yourself?
The next thing on my list for Grey Goose is national dominance. I want Grey Goose to carry the image it deserves. I want the Grey Goose Gentleman and the Lady Grey Goose campaign to change not only the preference of distinguished society, but to change the behavior and depiction of what society deems as cool.
Out with the baggy jeans and skimpy clothing, in with the fitted suits and cocktail dresses.
As for me, the most recent goal of mine is to execute a campaign for the Obama Administration. Thus using my social influence to encourage voter participation on a large scale.
Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. Co-Founder of Status Creative, 2011 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and record holder for Most Strikeouts in Tee-Ball.
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