San Diego-based public relations agency

Case Study: Skrewball

The Original Peanut Butter Whiskey Makes a Smooth Entrance

Overview

Born in Ocean Beach, California, Skrewball Whiskey, the original peanut butter whiskey, was created by husband and wife duo Steven and Brittany Yeng. Skrewball started from the passion of a bartender and foodie who owned a local watering hole when he first combined his favorite classics, peanut butter and whiskey, to create a delicious shot that soon became their signature. Knowing they had something special, he teamed up with his wife who used her master’s in chemistry and law degree to turn it into a brand that officially launched in 2018.

Services

  • Media Relations
  • Expert Positioning
  • Influencer Marketing

Challenge

Skrewball had zero national brand recognition and was available in only a handful of San Diego locations prior to retaining Crowe PR’s services. The brand was looking to gain popularity fast in a hyper-competitive industry and expand into new markets ahead of potential copycats.

Skrewball turned to Crowe PR to drive brand awareness and credibility, creating a new category of whiskey that appealed to the masses. Focusing on females ages 21-34, they looked to Crowe to establish proper brand positioning, build a strong online presence and gain recognition through a variety of sources including media, influencers and celebrities in order to demonstrate its versatility.

Approach

After conducting competitive research and gathering insight on the spirits industry landscape, Crowe PR created a comprehensive media strategy that aligned with Skrewball’s business goals. The team leveraged local, regional and national media relationships to gain instant traction, properly educating reporters, producers and bloggers on Skrewball’s founder story and sending them product samples to try. To ensure that the Crowe PR and the Skrewball team were aligned on overall messaging and the wider brand story, Crowe PR conducted comprehensive media training with the Skrewball team. In addition, Crowe PR incorporated an awards program to establish Skrewball as a leader in the whiskey category, as well as market-wide activations and tastings to gain traction in new regions and gather feedback. These insights would ultimately aid in developing customer profiles and new pitch angles.

Outside of traditional media, the Crowe PR plan included a strategic influencer marketing campaign that outlined different ways to collaborate with like-minded influencers and celebrities. Crowe PR seeded product samples with influencers who in turn shared the brand message with their audience and generated content for Skrewball to use on its own social pages.

Results

Skrewball became one of the fastest-growing spirits brands and is now a household name throughout the country. Skrewball partnered with a large distributor to achieve nationwide expansion just four months after retaining Crowe PR, a collaboration that came about after we secured a feature segment on The Today Show. Key coverage in top food & beverage industry and lifestyle outlets such as Bustle, Buzzfeed, My Recipes, Business Insider, Liquor.com, Forbes and Huffington Post further elevated Skrewball’s online presence and drove immediate demand for the product.

Based on the quick traction and success of the campaign, Skrewball expanded Crowe PR’s scope of work, adding influencer and celebrity partnerships into the marketing mix. Crowe PR’s influencer campaign aligned the brand with prominent, like-minded influencers and led to influencer and celebrity requests for partnerships. Some of these included prominent celebrities like Foo Fighters’ frontman David Grohl, “13 Reasons Why” actress Anne Winters, “Glee” actor Max Adler, actress/writer/director Amber Tamblyn and musical genius Questlove. Even country singer Blake Shelton also reached out to request samples of Skrewball for his tour bus, further signaling the broadening interest in this growing spirits brand.

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Pieces of Coverage in the First Year

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Increase in Web Traffic After Today Show Placement

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Locations of Product Availability Within First Two Years

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Impressions Generated from Secured Influencer Partnerships in 2020