Brands & Merch Business Interviews

Q&A: Samantha Green, Jägermeister

By | Published on Monday 8 February 2016


This Thursday, the European Sponsorship Association stages its annual awards in London, celebrating the best in sponsorship and brand partnership activity from the last twelve months.
CMU is partnering on the music category this year, and in the run up to the big event we will speak to some of the nominees to find out about their shortlisted projects, what they involved, and how each brand worked with their music partners.
First up, Jägermeister, which is nominated for the JägerHaus project that toured five music festivals last summer. The brand’s Events Manager Samantha Green tells us more.

CC: For those who missed it, run us through the basics, what did the JägerHaus experience consist of?
SG: The basic concept, which was devised together by the Jägermeister and Frukt teams, was to create a multi-room venue called The JägerHaus which we would tour to a number of summer festivals in the UK. It was a 20mx20mx9m music venue full of hidden messages and unexpected experiences, that also hosted some of the UK’s most exciting bands and DJs.

The building had a dystopian look and feel, and was constructed from a bespoke mixture of materials so to look like it had emerged from the undergrowth. Inside there were six different spaces, including The Lodge, a clubroom with a twist; The Backyard, a chill-out space with DJs; our live music room The Warehouse; and the VIP Loft for guests and artists.

CC: Where did the idea of having your own space at festivals originally come from?
SG: Over the years Jägermeister has invested heavily across its music and events programmes, though there hasn’t always been a consistent message across our activity. And while JägerMusic has always succeeded in defining what Jägermeister is about in terms of image and attitude, our focus at events has traditionally been about driving sales rather than consumer engagement. So, we’ve been active at a large number of events, and driven sales, but our level of consumer engagement and impact was more limited.

We also faced the challenge of how to extend consumption of key ‘serves’ like the Ice Cold Shot and our long drink Root56. So our objective in 2015 was to drive deeper consumer engagement at music festivals, leveraging our music heritage and JägerMusic programme in an innovative way that could amplify our presence and drive the trialling of our wider product range. Thus the JägerHaus was born!

CC: What are the benefits of this approach versus hosting a more conventional stage at a festival?
SG: Having a ‘conventional stage’ worked well for us over the years, but, as I said, our focus changed. We were still leveraging our music heritage and the JägerMusic programme, especially in The Warehouse area, but the Haus allowed us to to showcase the brand’s heritage and craft too, and to engage more head-on with consumers and to drive sampling as well.

CC: How did you choose the festivals where the JägerHaus appeared?
SG: We picked a varied mix of festivals to demonstrate our broad, non-genre specific music associations. So the aim was to select events that combined reach, kudos and credibility – and which had an eclectic and energetic music line up. We went with Field Day in London, BeatHerder in Lancashire, Kendal Calling in Cumbria, BoomTown in Winchester and Bestival on the Isle Of Wight.

CC: How did festivals respond to the project, and the challenge of accommodating the JägerHaus in an appropriate place?
SG: They really LOVED it! It’s a big activation and finding an appropriate space at each festival was challenging at times, but because of the good working relationships we have developed over the years with the festivals, everyone was keen to make it work for both parties.

CC: In terms of logistics, were you self-sufficient, or did the host festival get involved in production and security and so on?
SG: We managed all the logistics ourselves as well as production. It’s a big project and takes a team of 52 to pull it all together from start to finish. Security and such like was ordered via the suppliers of the festival.

CC: How did you programme the music that took place inside?
SG: This was managed by Tom Carson, our very own Music Manger, and Simon Singleton, Frukt’s Music Editor. They then collaborated with each festival’s programming team to ensure the music worked for both the festival and the brand. It was important to us to get both aspects right.

CC: How did the artists respond to playing such an interesting space?
SG: They loved it too. One artist who played, Chimes, told us that “what I loved most about the JägerHaus was the JägerHaus itself – it was prominent without being clichéd, and just looked awesome”. While DJ The Sultan said “it gave the impression of a brand that was serious about music – the sound was really great as was the décor”.

CC: Jägermeister has had a long association with music, how did this project build on and enhance that?
SG: We booked plenty of up-and-coming artists which aligned well with our overall music manifesto of trying to help new talent. And they got to play to great enthusiastic audiences, so had a great experience. Being an indoor stage they didn’t get wet either!

CC: Did you generate content from the JägerHaus, so the campaign could live beyond the festival sites?
SG: Absolutely, amplification was vital before, during and after the festivals. And content is key to continuing to engage with our core consumer well after the event has ended. Social media played an important role, with line-up reveals, live Twitter and Instagram feeds, and video re-caps to relive festival moments and memories.

CMU Insights is presenting a masterclass aimed at brands working with music on Monday 18 April at the London HQ of law firm Lewis Silkin. The event will explain how the music industry and music rights work, and the different music companies brands need to form relationships and deals with depending on the nature of their music-based marketing activity. Places at the masterclass are just £125, including VAT and booking fee, and can be bought here.