How Cointreau Uses Category-Focused Messaging to Keep Buyers Coming Back (And Drive 101% YoY Growth)
Purpose of This Research
Deconstruct Cointreau’s paid media funnel including:
- Marketing funnel spend allocation
- Platform spend allocation
- Top Landing Pages & Offers
To isolate what’s driving performance and find opportunities to apply learnings to our own funnel.
Why Examine Cointreau For Paid Media Insights?
- Overall Growth: Cointreau has seen +101% growth in website traffic over the past 2 years.
- Ad Spend Growth: Cointreau has invested +56% more in Paid Advertising YoY.
- Investment: Cointreau has invested $3.6M* in paid media from August 2022 to July 2023 in Canada and the United States.
- Relevancy: In the past year, Cointreau has taken a strong approach to cocktail-based advertising, spending 77% of the total budget on Margarita (48%) or Cosmopolitan (29%) messaging.
How do we determine marketing funnel placement?
Top of Funnel:
- Creative: Discusses the product and high level uses
- CTA: No CTA or “Learn More”
- Landing Page: Homepage, No landing page, Social media account
Middle of Funnel:
- Creative: Aims to educate viewer on the product & optimize how to use it
- CTA: “Learn More”
- Landing Page: Content-rich educational pages, blog posts & indexes
Bottom of Funnel:
- Creative: Provides education in ad (ie. a recipe) so reader can click-through to purchase, or ad incentivises reader to purchase in copy
- CTA: “Shop Now”, “Order for Delivery”
- Landing Page: Product description page
Cointreau Paid Funnel Overview
Holiday Messaging Whitespace
- (i) Leverage Margaritas as the holiday drink everyone should be making. Cointreau is focusing holiday spends on the Cosmopolitan.
- (ii) Create holiday gift ads, Cointreau is only pushing holiday hosting. Focus on these benefits with gift-giving content:
(a) Ease of gifting your product
(b) Spend less time on gifts and more time with loved ones
- (iii) Be the better tasting disruptor. Cointreau is heavily focused on setting their mark as the original, traditional and only ‘acceptable’ option for margaritas.
Insights & Recommendations
- Use a well-known figure to endorse your product and deem any potential substitute as illegitimate.
- Build 15-second YouTube and Facebook videos that touch on how your product can be used for the holidays.
- Develop holiday-inspired cocktail recipes to show viewers your product is not only for summer consumption.
- Use traditional editorial YouTube campaigns to emphasize the difference your product makes in cocktails. These feature no talking, added audio and a narrative in the form of a recipe or subtle storyline.
- Build 30-second YouTube videos that are longer versions of the holiday ToFu ads to further educate prospects on your product.
- Build in-depth landing pages and resources that guide viewers on gift-giving and hosting. Consider building a page with different gift pairings for your product.
- Reintroduce the well-known figure ToFu video campaigns with ‘Shop Now’ CTAs on Facebook.
- Repurpose video campaigns into static image posts for the holidays that reiterate the main benefit of your product on Facebook & Instagram (i.e. “one-pitcher solve”).
- Direct viewers to product pages that are hosted by retail partners or that help viewers find online retailers.
Over the past 2 years, Cointreau has invested $9.9M into digital ads. Ad spend has been steadily increasing +56% YoY during that time.
*Ad spend includes Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Display, Paid Search, OTT and Instagram.
Cointreau sees seasonal spikes around the fall and the new year. As of 2023, they increased their summer spend by 103% to $1.4M.
Cointreau is experimenting with messaging around various cocktails with an emphasis on Margaritas and Cosmopolitans.
ToFu Ad Spend
Cointreau ToFu Ad Spend $644K
State the significance of your product as a cocktail staple.
- A margarita campaign with Aubrey Plaza is 50% of the ToFu ad spend.
- Leverage a well-known figure to reach a new audience while building a narrative in their style.
- Use your partner’s influence to state that a cocktail with any other replacement is illegitimate (and therefore undrinkable to a respectable cocktail drinker).
- Tell the story in under 30 seconds.
Aubrey Plaza posted both ads on her Instagram and generated 14M views for Cointreau.
Cointreau Ad Spend $426K
Provide solutions to pain points people have over the holidays.
- A hosting campaign with Dan Levy represents 33% of the ToFu ad spend.
- Show viewers how simple it can be to put together a delicious cocktail, the first ad starts with “What I love about a Cosmo is that it’s only 4 ingredients”.
- Build creative that shows how to batch make a cocktail for big parties as well as a tutorial with individual servings.
- Hosting ToFu videos are 15 seconds.
- These have no call to action or landing page.
Dan Levy generated 1.2M ads from organic posts on Instagram about Cointreau.
Partner with cocktail & beverage influencers to produce recipes.
- Cointreau tested ToFu ads with 1% of the budget to develop recipes and advertise videos about them.
- Tag creators in the caption and provide the full recipe in the description.
- Link ToFu recipe ads back to your social media page.
- Experiment with recipe posts that are:
(i) branded to your company (like this)
(ii) in the original style of your partnered creator (like this)
Produce holiday recipes that suit the changing seasons.
- Use Instagram to target audiences that enjoy making the most out of seasonal flavours.
- Keep ad creative bright and visual. Holiday ads use still-life settings and a mixture of static posts with text on top.
- Make the margarita whatever you want it to be. Find ways to pair it with flavour profiles unique to the holiday season.
- Link back to your Instagram account to raise brand awareness.
Spend $5K | Imp. 613K | CPM $7.9
Spend $4K | Imp. 507K | CPM $7.9
Spend $314 | Imp. 40K | CPM $7.9
Spend $86 | Imp. 21K | CPM $4.2
MoFu Ad Spend
Retargeting is not captured by our advertising intelligence tools, but it’s likely that Cointreau is building MoFu retargeting audiences based on users’ engagements with ToFu ads across all channels.
Expand on ToFu campaigns with longer, educational content.
- Cointreau continues growing its partnership with Dan Levy through more hosting videos.
- This ad educates the viewer about the origin of the cocktail stating “Did you know the Cosmo was born in 1988?”.
- MoFu winter hosting campaign videos are 48% longer than the ToFu ads, at an average of 25 seconds.
- Introduce text on the screen for recipes in MoFu video campaigns.
- Build a broad, educational landing page
Create a sponsored content landing page with a relevant media publication.
Run a local social initiative. This (i) Makes viewers feel that they’re doing something good and (ii) Directs them to bars using your product.
Cointreau is targeting two personas: (i) tech & culture and (ii) MMA & sport fans with Display advertising for this campaign.
Tech & Culture
Sports & Fighting
Define your taste as irreplaceable.
- Cointreau’s MoFu creatives target cocktail lovers who understand that while Cointreau stands on its own, it could be substituted with other products.
- MoFu ads make a case that they should never be replaced. They target traditionalists with messaging that states they are part of the “original” margarita or the “classic” mimosa.
- Where Cointreau has claimed the traditional, market yourself as a disruptor—irreplaceable because you break the norms & improve the old.
Get cocktail influencers involved in a challenge to create the best holiday-inspired margarita or gift basket with your product.
Cointreau ran a margarita challenge, which became a top organic page from August 2022 to July 2023. They did not put any ad spend behind the campaign.
Create a resource that guides readers in holiday gifting.
- In 2019, Cointreau created this Holiday Cocktail Recipe E-Book that still ranks as an organic page into 2023.
- The format is a PDF, but they host it on the cointreau.com domain.
- Develop in-depth content to:
(i) Collect emails for retargeting & building subscriber lists.
(ii) Reach the structured customer who appreciates a one-stop shop resource with many actionable points such as how to make a cocktail or how to develop a quick and thoughtful gift.
(iii) Host online and rank for holiday drink queries over time.
BoFu Ad Spend
Retargeting is not captured by our advertising intelligence tools, but it’s likely that Cointreau is building BoFu retargeting audiences based on users’ engagements with MoFu ads across all channels.
Tie together ToFu and MoFu campaigns with ads about hosting.
- Cointreau has a strong “one” narrative to demonstrate ease with two ads promoting:
- “The season’s one-pitcher solve, the Cosmopolitan for a crowd” and “One bottle, hundred of recipes for hosting”.
- Use copy to direct viewers to click the ‘Shop Now’ CTA to find a retailer near them.
- BoFu holiday creatives have more branded logos in their ad placements than higher funnels.
Position your product as the holiday gift to give.
This ad is the only creative that mentions “gift” but Cointreau ultimately brings it back to a hosting message.
Apply Cointreau’s BoFu holiday tactics to gift messaging:
- (i) Reference how your product saves time over the holidays.
- (ii) Build ideal gift pairing suggestions for a range of gift baskets that are easy for the holidays.
- (iii) Integrate hosting messaging into the mix as gifting. Be the well-rounded product that is checking off to-do lists for prospects in both ways.
Carry upper-funnel campaigns through to the bottom with direct videos.
The MoFu “Original Margarita” ad shows someone making a drink and lead to a recipe. The BoFu campaign would show the recipe on screen instead.
- Add a “Shop Now” CTA on existing partner content and:
(i) Leverage their support of the brand
(ii) Simply communicate the ingredients needed for a cocktail
(iii) Leverage your play on words in the ad copy “MargaWrong” and “MargaRight”
- Use the same verbiage (i.e. “The Original Margarita”) but:
(i) Refresh the actors & setting
(ii) Add text on the screen
(iii) Make the video longer, the BoFu campaign is +150% longer than the MoFu video (15 seconds)
BoFu Landing Pages
Direct BoFu ads to a retail partner page or a retail finder.
- Cointreau only has two conversion landing pages.
- One directs to a partner retail page under “Drizly” and the other directs to the simple Cointreau retail locator.
- Build a simple BoFu landing page but consider:
(i) Integrating more holiday campaign imagery into your holiday landing page (currently all product ad landing pages are the same).
(ii) Keeping scroll depth low to avoid decision fatigue and additional navigation options.
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