Hudson Whiskey

Crafting a Contest: Making the Cut

Since its founding in 2001, Hudson Whiskey has produced award-winning, hand-crafted bourbon whiskey from its Tuthilltown Gristmill Distillery in Gardnier, New York. As the first whiskey distillery in New York State since the days of Prohibition, Hudson Whiskey today has become a leader in the renaissance of premium craft spirits-making.

FOUR32C was entrusted to design and build an innovative website as part of a social media campaign created to discover a new brand ambassador for the family-run distillery. Inspired by the passion and artistry of producing craft whiskey, we developed a content-rich website around the campaign, “Making the Cut,” which reflected the complexities and teamwork that goes into making Hudson Whiskey.

Expressing Originality

Understanding Hudson Whiskey’s unique voice and hand-crafted production process defined our discovery, allowing us to deepen and extend the spirit’s brand language online. We performed a competitive review across a variety of social platforms in order understand user flows for online applications. Our design focused on the distinct associations of family and premium quality that are inherent in Hudson Whiskey to generate maximum interest among likely spirits enthusiasts. By choosing a chalkboard metaphor and a warm color palette, the campaign website referenced the devotion and workmanship that goes into every bottle of Hudson Whiskey.

Driven by Interactivity

“Making the Cut” was multiphase contest that engaged users in activities designed to express their individual skills and knowledge of craft spirits. The primary objective of the online campaign was to solicit entries and help Hudson Whiskey find the perfect brand enthusiast through an interactive application process. Serving simultaneously as a destination and a marketing campaign, the website generated buzz and drove users to Hudson Whiskey’s main website and Facebook page, which helped to build and extend the distillery’s growing network of brand admirers.

A Perfect Pairing

The online campaign launched in March 2014 and hundreds of would-be brand ambassadors applied for the chance to represent Hudson Whiskey. The field of applicants was narrowed down to three finalists who participated in a residency at Tuthilltown Gristmill Distillery and the winning brand ambassador, Han Shan, was selected in June 2014. The campaign garnered more than 1 million impressions over a four month period.