In honor of Women’s History Month, this blog post was originally intended to be a list of recent marketing innovations by women. However, after discovering the Brand Innovators list of the “Top 100” Women in Brand Marketing for 2022, I decided to do a deep dive into Campari Group’s Andrea Sengara. Sengara is the Head of Marketing for Campari America. Her success on behalf of Campari Group in 2022 is an excellent illustration of a particularly clever approach to innovative marketing.

If you’ve been on TikTok or Instagram in the last five months, or even if you’re just regularly sent trending videos by the social scrollers in your life, you can likely immediately hear the “A Negroni…sbagliato… with prosecco in it” audio referenced in the title of this blog. You may have even subsequently conducted an internet search for the recipe, likely via either Google or TikTok, and perhaps were one of the many who couldn’t resist trying out this newly viral version of the classic cocktail at home. Or maybe you saw the Negroni sbagliato newly listed on a cocktail menu in the trending audio’s wake, recognized it from one of the many video versions, and couldn’t resist the opportunity to order it and find out what all the fuss was about. Or maybe a friend insisted you try the trending spin on the cocktail. However you encountered it, there’s a good chance you came across the Negroni sbagliato in 2022, and certainly a far greater chance than in any years prior. Indeed, according to The Spirits Business, the drink was the top trending cocktail in Google search for 2022.

So how was Campari America’s Andrea Sengara involved in this massive success? Well, while she was not behind House of Dragons actor Emma D’Arcy’s mention of the cocktail in their October 1, 2022, interview with co-star Olivia Cooke, Sengara and her team were quick to fully exploit the opportunity presented by the viral audio. By October 19, over 60,000 searches had been conducted for “Negroni sbagliato” in the previous 30 days, with a 501% increase in the week prior. By the close of 2022, “Negroni sbagliato” had experienced a 5,640% search rise over 2021. Sengara’s team was quick to put more content out on the market. Within two weeks, they had a new Negroni sbagliato cocktail kit on the market. Further, she recounts having “team members actively going to secure drink menus off the back of the trend.” For all the boost that the viral audio gave the cocktail, the product sales, which contributed to double-digit growth for Campari America in 2022, could not have been achieved without the attention to trends and quick, innovative response on the part of Sengara and her group.

Indeed, this approach is not unusual for Sengara. Following consumer interest is part of her innovation strategy. Out of the 70+ brands in Campari Group’s portfolio, Sengara’s team is now pushing their tequila brands, due to a recent rise in US consumer interest that has seen tequila displace American whiskey, and shows it poised to soon displace vodka as Americans’ number one spirit of choice. Hence their partnership with Scream VI to cross-promote their Espolon Tequila with the film, as well as their Cabo Wabo tequila brand becoming the first official tequila NASCAR sponsor. And of course, they had to ensure Campari as the Official Spirits Sponsor of the 2023 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, with a riff on the Negroni sbagliato as the Official SAG Awards cocktail.

To learn about the other women on Brand Innovators “Top 100” Women in Brand Marketing Class of 2022, visit https://www.brand-innovators.com/awards/top-100-women.

Sources

Bloch, Emily. “Negroni sbagliatos are having a moment because of TikTok. Local bartenders help us explain the trend.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. October 14, 2022. https://www.inquirer.com/news/negroni-sbagliato-tiktok-house-of-dragon-philadelphia-20221014.html.

Kiely, Melita. “Negroni Sbagliato: 5,640% search rise boosts Campari.” The Spirits Business. February 3, 2023. https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2023/02/negroni-sbagliato-5640-search-rise-boosts-campari/.

——— “US drinkers driven by occasion not category.” The Spirits Business. January 31, 2023. https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2023/01/us-drinkers-driven-by-occasion-not-category/.

Smith, Christian. “Campari Group reveals double digit sales growth for 2022.” The Drinks Business. February 22, 2023. https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2023/02/campari-group-reveals-double-digit-sales-growth-for-2022/.

———–“How a TikTok trend lead to a 501% increase in searches for Negroni Sbagliato.” The Drinks Business. October 19, 2022. https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2022/10/how-a-tiktok-trend-lead-to-a-501-increase-in-searches-for-negroni-sbagliato/#:~:text=%E2%80%9C%5BA%5D%20Negroni%20Sbagliato%20with,the%20past%20week%20on%20Google.

Staff. “Campari toasts partnership with Screen Actors Guild Awards.” The Milan City Journal. February 24, 2023. https://themilancityjournal.com/campari-sag-awards/.

Stern, Adam. “NASCAR makes Cabo Wabo its first official tequila.” Sports Business Journal. January 24, 2023. https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Daily/Issues/2023/01/24/Marketing-and-Sponsorship/nascar-cabo-wabo-official-tequila.aspx.

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