The Wray Residencies was a strong integrated consumer campaign that was driven by a clear understanding of the audience and sound cultural insight. It delivered a campaign that felt authentically rooted in Jamaican culture and true to the brand. The grass roots approach gave the Wray Residence a clear purpose and role within the hearts and minds of the communities it was engaging to deliver a campaign with not only measurable commercial impact, but which made a difference to the communities it engaged with.

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Winner entry:

Brief, objectives and budget:

Any Jamaican will tell you that the Wray & Nephew (WNO) bottle is as Jamaican as the flag – a cultural icon. We were briefed to relaunch this legendary 200-year-old Jamaican white rum to a younger generation of Jamaican-influenced Brits.


  • Grow positive brand sentiment among our key audience, establishing WNO as a ‘cool brand’ and as their preferred ‘out’ drink
  • Drive awareness and social engagement across owned and earned content
  • Grow the WNO social community among the key demographic
  • Increase SOV against direct competitors within key demographic
  • Ensure an experiential/event platform reaches beyond the attendees.

9-month campaign budget – £400,000 fees and costs budget which delivered:

  • 4 x hero music events + 3 x full corner shop rebrands and events
  • Media partnerships
  • Social media channel management, content production and paid
  • Planning, operations/admin, account management, reporting/research.

The idea, research and planning:

Our target audience for WNO is 20-30 year-old Jamaican-influenced British urbanites and we needed to get them to reappraise the brand’s place in their life. We focused on their values – 60% of our target audience said community is the most important value to them.

We had to be relevant and mean more than a drink – especially with an audience drinking less.

Researching and applying the broader Jamaican values of pride, inclusivity and community (also overlapping with our core audience), alongside music (the universal unifier), we created the Wray Residencies – a series of raw and inclusive live music events celebrating Jamaican culture and created in, for and with the community. A true #StraightFromYard experience.

Alongside these core hero music events, we held satellite Wray Residencies in local corner shops, working with the independent owners to re-brand their shop and create a lasting local legacy.

Strategy, creativity and innovation:

Our strategy was to get our target audience to choose WNO as their ‘out’ drink by providing a sense of community and belonging through unique music events rooted in Jamaican culture. This not only resonated with the audience but is a space WNO could authentically own because it has the long-earned respect, heritage and credibility of no other brand in this context.

Being “straight from yard” – ‘yard’ being Caribbean slang for ‘home’ – and being authentic was crucial to the campaign; #StraightFromYard was our campaign hashtag.

These couldn’t be any music event – they needed to differentiate from all else out there, and deliver on objectives. Anchored in our ‘straight from yard’ principle, we identified three London neighbourhoods our target audience called home – Brixton, Peckham and Hackney – to host a Wray Residency event.

We found spaces that either gave to/serviced the community, and/or would benefit from additional revenue or exposure: a carnival community arts centre, a closed money-transfer shop and an independent African & Caribbean Emporium.

This programme was in the community, for the community and with the community. We secured a diverse mix of headline music artists that created music with Jamaican roots – from dancehall and hip-hop, to R&B and rap – and our support acts were grassroots local artists, each chosen by our hero talent.

Delivery/implementation of tactics:

Everything revolved around community and the identified three London neighbourhoods our target audience called home – Brixton, Peckham and Hackney.

Specifically targeting residents through paid media, tickets could be purchased for £5 with all proceeds (including any additional bar sales) going back to a community charity nominated by the local artist.

To promote responsible drinking, each guest received a meal voucher at a popular nearby Caribbean eatery after each sell-out show, driving additional footfall and revenue for local businesses (70% of vouchers were redeemed). To further build association of WNO as an ‘out drink’, and support more local business, those who redeemed their food voucher were also given an on-trade voucher for a WNO drink at local partner bar.

Each Wray Residency was documented on the Wray & Nephew Instagram channel – giving our local talent a platform to showcase their skills and providing the opportunity for those unable to attend a chance to feel a part of it.

To support our Wray Residencies, we launched a series of Corner Shop residencies. Collaborating with a local corner shop from each borough, we offered a full Wray & Nephew branded makeover and held small, local pop-up events for passers-by and local customers. This approach empowered the local shop owners, with word getting around and increasing footfall. It also provided a creative and successful way to engage some key business customers and left a lasting legacy of local business relationships.

Aside from our own channels, we collaborated with relevant influencers to drive awareness and local relevance with a new and niche audience. Using our own robust influencer methodology, SNAP, we identified and collaborated with influencers organically to attend events and post content. We also worked with relevant talent such as GAIKA, Ms Banks and 3 Shots of Tequila, and media partners such as GRM Daily and local radio stations Reprezent, Rinse FM and Balamii to get the word out.

Following the success of this year’s campaign, the Wray Residencies will be rolled out even further in 2020, reaching out, engaging with and heroing even more local communities.

Measurement, evaluation and impact:

All of our consumer touch points needed to work together to delivery beyond the events’ proximity. The consumer programme exceeded business expectations – shifting brand perception, growing the business and making a real impact in local communities.

Pre and Post Campaign Results: note that no other major marketing activity took place in 2019:

  • The brand grew +14.2% YTD (as of September 2019) WNO is the only white rum to be in double digit growth in a category that is in volume & value decline (Source: Nielsen MAT to 30.11.2019)
  • Brand awareness increased +9% (60% of total target audience)
  • Brand consideration among target audience increased by +13% to 75%
  • A third now perceives the brand to be cool (+18%)
  • Instagram followers grew by +34%
  • Share of Voice (amongst key competitors) increased by +9% to 46%
  • As a spirit brand we have are now ranked 9th out of over 40 on Owned engagement (engagement on owned channel) as identified by a third-party source
  • Increased buzz ranking from 8th (prior to campaign) to 2nd post campaign
  • Secured average engagement rate of 9.6%.