Driving Reappraisal of the Old Fashioned with Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace


• Social Media


Buffalo Trace, a bourbon brand with an illustrious history as the world’s most awarded distillery, had a lofty challenge - to be the bourbon of choice for UK consumers, specifically when considering the Old Fashioned cocktail. Faced with competitors with bigger spend and brand awareness, we needed a social strategy that would pack a punch and make a real impact, garnering the attention of the bar trade as well as consumers.

We needed to do this in a way that would capitalise on the love that the on-trade had for Buffalo Trace, hero the classic cocktail and make it ownable for Buffalo Trace.

The other consideration was that this needed to work hand in glove with our wider PR and influencer activity for the year, without adding additional, complicated messaging for consumers.


We developed an influencer-led social strategy called ‘Old Fashioned, New Fashioned’, partnering with a number of top bars across the UK, coinciding with key regions for the Buffalo Trace audience (London, Bristol, Brighton, Manchester).

Rather than using influencers in the traditional sense, the campaign used up and coming mixologists from our chosen bars, challenging them to make the iconic Old Fashioned using Buffalo Trace, followed by their own take on it - their New Fashioned.  This gave them the chance to make their mark on the cocktail, all whilst celebrating its history and prestige as a classic cocktail.

Content was captured in closed shoots within bars taking part in the campaign, with content being disseminated across social channels, showcasing the skill and expertise of the bar trade, whilst also drawing attention to the drink for both existing fans, and those who may not have tried one before.  

To make it ownable for the Buffalo Trace brand, mixologists were advised to use ingredients that had clear links to the tasting notes of the Buffalo Trace bourbon product - a recipe that had Stood Strong for over a century.  Think cinnamon, caramel, licorice and hay.

We were then able to re-use the content captured on social for PR, placing recipes with consumer lifestyle media and crediting their creators - further driving association for the brand with the Old Fashioned cocktail.

Key pieces of content include:


  • We activated the campaign in 7 key cities across the UK, engaging the trade to consider suggesting Buffalo Trace as the bourbon to make an Old Fashioned with for their customer base - and gaining more fans in the trade.
  • Within three months the IG account had 4000 new followers, 4% increase with engagement and a 33% uplift in footfall with a key retail partner