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Hatch Communications
Hatch Communications

Thought Leadership

From Deserts to Daiquiris – Hardest Geeza and Influencer Product Collaborations

by Cameron Trevena

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In the world of sports and extreme challenges, few feats capture the imagination quite like Russ Cook’s epic journey running the entire length of Africa.

Dubbed the ‘Hardest Geezer’, Cook’s 352-day trek across 16,000 kilometres not only showcased his incredible endurance and willpower, but also caught the attention of millions across the globe who watched on in anticipation.

As we all know though, wherever the eyes are, brands will inevitably follow. I’m sure Cook and his team received thousands of enquires from brands eagerly observing his growing social following and licking their lips at the thought of aligning themselves with his remarkable story.

However, one brand who were quick to capitalise on Cook’s rising popularity was PerfectTed, a matcha-based carbonated drinks company known for its ‘natural energy’ beverages. As Cook powered through deserts, crossed borders, and faced down countless challenges, PerfectTed was there, sponsoring his journey and fuelling his relentless pursuit with their refreshing drinks.

For those who followed Cook’s adventure closely on social media, it became clear that there was one thing on his mind as he approached the finish line: a Strawberry Daiquiri. Providing regular updates on X, tweets like the one below reached a massive audience of over 1.8 million.

To add to that, during a live broadcast on Sky News as Cook crossed the finish line, someone behind the camera said: “Let’s get you a daiquiri, man,” and the runner replied: “Yeah, let’s f**k off.”

But where am I going with all this?

Well, although it might have seemed like all of the Daiquiri references were just the random cravings of a man navigating the relentless Sub-Saharan heat, it turns out it was actually all part of a clever marketing ploy orchestrated by Cook and PerfectTed.

In a savvy move, PerfectTed seized the opportunity to collaborate with Cook on a limited-edition Strawberry Daiquiri flavoured energy drink. The product, aptly named ‘Hardest Energy Strawberry Daiquiri’, launched before Cook’s shoes could stop smoking after crossing the finish line.

Three cans of 'hardest energy' drink

Credit: The Grocer

Influencer collaborations have become a cornerstone of modern marketing practices, particularly within beauty and lifestyle sectors. However, growing involvement from food and drink brands marks a relatively recent development, yet one I expect to continue gaining momentum.

Looking further afield, even traditional establishments like Wetherspoons are getting in on the action. Recently, the popular chain announced the axing of 18 drinks products from its venues, making room for two new influencer-backed flavoured vodkas.

Among the newcomers are Au Vodka Strawberry Burst, backed by a UK rapper influencer programme that includes names like AJ Tracey, Big Narstie, and DJ Charlie Sloth. The other is XIX Vodka Tropical Ice, created in partnership with YouTube sensations the Sidemen.

Two men with two bottles of vodka

Credit: XIX Vodka

The future of influencer collaborations in F&B holds endless potential. With influencers wielding unprecedented influence over consumer preferences and behaviours, brands have the opportunity to create authentic connections and drive huge sales volumes with these partnerships.

Want to find out how your brand can leverage influencer collaborations? Get in touch at hello@hatch,group to start a conversation.

In the world of sports and extreme challenges, few feats capture the imagination quite like Russ Cook’s epic journey running the entire length of Africa.

Dubbed the ‘Hardest Geezer’, Cook’s 352-day trek across 16,000 kilometres not only showcased his incredible endurance and willpower, but also caught the attention of millions across the globe who watched on in anticipation.

As we all know though, wherever the eyes are, brands will inevitably follow. I’m sure Cook and his team received thousands of enquires from brands eagerly observing his growing social following and licking their lips at the thought of aligning themselves with his remarkable story.

However, one brand who were quick to capitalise on Cook’s rising popularity was PerfectTed, a matcha-based carbonated drinks company known for its ‘natural energy’ beverages. As Cook powered through deserts, crossed borders, and faced down countless challenges, PerfectTed was there, sponsoring his journey and fuelling his relentless pursuit with their refreshing drinks.

For those who followed Cook’s adventure closely on social media, it became clear that there was one thing on his mind as he approached the finish line: a Strawberry Daiquiri. Providing regular updates on X, tweets like the one below reached a massive audience of over 1.8 million.

To add to that, during a live broadcast on Sky News as Cook crossed the finish line, someone behind the camera said: “Let’s get you a daiquiri, man,” and the runner replied: “Yeah, let’s f**k off.”

But where am I going with all this?

Well, although it might have seemed like all of the Daiquiri references were just the random cravings of a man navigating the relentless Sub-Saharan heat, it turns out it was actually all part of a clever marketing ploy orchestrated by Cook and PerfectTed.

In a savvy move, PerfectTed seized the opportunity to collaborate with Cook on a limited-edition Strawberry Daiquiri flavoured energy drink. The product, aptly named ‘Hardest Energy Strawberry Daiquiri’, launched before Cook’s shoes could stop smoking after crossing the finish line.

Three cans of 'hardest energy' drink

Credit: The Grocer

Influencer collaborations have become a cornerstone of modern marketing practices, particularly within beauty and lifestyle sectors. However, growing involvement from food and drink brands marks a relatively recent development, yet one I expect to continue gaining momentum.

Looking further afield, even traditional establishments like Wetherspoons are getting in on the action. Recently, the popular chain announced the axing of 18 drinks products from its venues, making room for two new influencer-backed flavoured vodkas.

Among the newcomers are Au Vodka Strawberry Burst, backed by a UK rapper influencer programme that includes names like AJ Tracey, Big Narstie, and DJ Charlie Sloth. The other is XIX Vodka Tropical Ice, created in partnership with YouTube sensations the Sidemen.

Two men with two bottles of vodka

Credit: XIX Vodka

The future of influencer collaborations in F&B holds endless potential. With influencers wielding unprecedented influence over consumer preferences and behaviours, brands have the opportunity to create authentic connections and drive huge sales volumes with these partnerships.

Want to find out how your brand can leverage influencer collaborations? Get in touch at hello@hatch,group to start a conversation.

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