How well can you pivot?

Launching a Campaign Amidst a Pandemic

How Well Can You Pivot?

How TCB Launched a Successful Campaign Amidst a Global Pandemic

Launching a new initiative for our client, Cerveza Montejo, during an unexpected world event, which in this case was a global pandemic, is not the most ideal circumstance when growing brand awareness and engagement. Our team understands how to pivot quickly and is experienced with creating and delivering top-shelf strategy, even as challenges arise. We were initially asked to come up with a meaningful, relevant campaign that would serve a greater purpose than just increasing sales and a social following. After all of the strategy was built out, and ideas were presented, we were challenged with having to quickly shift the entire strategy. The campaign was called “Stories that Defy” and included social media management, video production, remote influencer management, and design for all social and retail assets for Cerveza Montejo, so it would have to shift quickly and still capture all of the same goals we initially set.

The Campaign Details in a Nutshell

The Stories That Defy Contest hosted by Cerveza Montejo is a call to all dreamers, creators, innovators, and small business owners to share their story and business idea, whether it is an idea of something they are trying to start-up or an existing business that was impacted by the pandemic. Participants must submit a video of their story and share it with their friends and family to tally up votes. On September 30, Cerveza Montejo will be hosting a virtual live event from their YouTube channel. Eight finalists will be selected, including one wild card pick. One lucky winner will go home with $10,000 and mentorship from one of the brand influencers and three runners-up will be selected to win $1,000 each and mentorship from one of the brand influencers.

How Social laid the foundation

We had initially planned a two-day photoshoot and interactive in-person events that would bring all of our influencers together. However, once the pandemic hit, we quickly realized the necessity to pivot. Much of our influencer relations were forced to change focus away from in-person gatherings to solely remote collaborations. As the consumer base shifted away from attending baseball games and events, we had to rely on social media as the primary location for reaching Montejo’s target market. At this point, we had to amplify the reach that our influencer partnerships would bring to continue building the brand’s community—even as we remained socially-distanced.

With social media transitioning to one of the main components for driving sales, The Creative Bar’s social team had to amp up all front-facing marketing materials to ensure our client’s goals were still met. The frequency of posting had to be increased significantly. In the period leading up to the contest launch, we shared influencer stories in a series called “Stories That Defy,” that was featured on Montejo’s official Instagram TV. We also planned and remotely directed virtual Happy Hours featuring these same influencers. All of this content was designed to segue into the contest and it helped the audience get to know our influencers—now contest judges—and build a bond with our consumers.

Directing from a distance

After the news that our plans for photo and video shoots would have to be shifted, our creative team quickly designed guidelines for our influencers to remotely create their content for contest promotional material. Without having our crew film there to direct and create a consistent look for each influencer, we had to be sure that we gave them succinct direction to create their own videos. We included things like camera angles, rules of thirds, background images, wardrobe options, etc. We then had to relay all of this art direction to the influencers in a way that would help us achieve our intended result.

Our contest announcement video was built with a compilation of footage supplied by our influencers and materials gathered by our video team. The challenge was to create a primary campaign message that spearheaded the word about this contest, while also combining several shooting styles. The Creative Bar team banded together to work closely with the Cerveza Montejo brand manager and all influencers involved in the campaign, to ensure every detail of materials gathered were as perfect as possible, despite having to assist each person while remaining completely remote. Pulling this off required a lot of planning, patience and communication to deliver this top-shelf marketing campaign.


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Our team of designers and web developers created a contest tool kit, complete with a custom contest website, email blasts, social media posts, retail displays and assets that our media partners could easily share with their audiences, making sure that every touchpoint was cohesive and clearly communicative was a top priority.

As with the other facets of this campaign, our retail assets evolved as we continued to pivot across the timeline of this campaign. While the initial plan only called for retail assets that focussed on the contest and campaign, we quickly realized that we would need to involve our influencers on a much deeper level than originally planned. To do this we developed custom store displays for the hometown of each influencer. Additionally, an increase in contest promotion assets were created to push awareness in stores and bring awareness to the live event.

Inviting guests to a party they can’t attend

As a culmination to this robust campaign, our team devised a plan for a large in-person event that included all of our influencers, contest applicants, a full film and video crew, as well asn audience of brand superfans. Because of social distancing, we had to find a new and exciting way to engage our contestants, involve our influencers, and engage audiences to tune in to what would likely become a 100% digital event.

We knew that everything would have to be done virtually and still look and feel as compelling and exciting as a physical event. Fortunately, there are tools and production companies that provide services to make virtual events seamless. We got to work on a plan that involved all of the key players and built a strategy that would engage our consumers to tune in.

This initiative taught us the necessity for having a thorough strategy that includes:

    • A clear definition of goals and KPIs.
    • A knowledge of the consumers and their behavior and interests.
    • A detailed contest strategy: Using the goals and consumer knowledge to determine what the contest should be, where it should live, how it should be executed.
    • Budget, prizes, and the legalities of running a contest using social media.
    • A contest timeline, content calendar, and deliverables required in order to launch.
      Flexibility and a plan B.

All in all The Creative Bar executed a multitude of assets across multiple platforms for this project. Even in trying times, our team is prepared no matter what hurdles come our way. We have learned that being flexible in our planning was, and is, the only way to keep the project on track and fulfill our clients’ needs. Fluidity and strategic planning is how we overcome challenges and have remained successful in continuing to plan and execute large projects without strife. We are dedicated to serving only the finest services to bring brands to the next level.

Tune into the Stories That Defy Contest Virtual Live Event hosted by Cerveza Montejo on September 30, 2020 at 6pm PST streaming from Montejo’s YouTube. Join us with the Montejo judges where we will be giving away prizes and announcing the winners of the contest.


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