With the release of our first Digital IQ Index: Spirits study yesterday, we crowned three new digital Geniuses: Absolut, Bacardi, and Jim Beam. Among the 69 brands featured in this new study, it was these three whose Sites, Digital Marketing, Social Media and Mobile efforts — the four areas on which the rankings are based — registered the most impressive overall levels of digital innovation, fan engagement, and multi-channel integration. Below is a breakdown of how each earned the top title.



The vodka brand well known for its award-winning print ads featuring a bottle fashioned out film reels, flowers, and a Keith Harring painting, to name a few, Absolut has transitioned into digital very successfully. Most impressive are its creative microsites (Absolutdrinks, Absoluthost, etc.) and mobile apps, which allow users to search for cocktails and consult a robust how-to section. Absolut is also a leader in social media programming, not just present on all three emerging social media platforms but active and highly engaged with relatively large communities.


Bacardi emerged as having the most effective multi-channel strategy, with strong cross-platform integration of its “It Started With a Party” campaign. The 151-year-old rum brand also established itself as the risk-taker of the top Spirits brands, partnering with darling music app Spotify and experimenting with QR codes. In terms of mobile, arguably the platform of the future, Bacardi’s mobile-optimized site and ‘Mix Master‘ mobile app earned the brand the highest scores in the study.

Jim Beam

With the highest-scoring site of all 69 brands’ in our study, JimBeam.com features both great design and great functionality–most notably, with a best-in-class retail locator. A popular, high-profile partnership with ESPN (to produce webisodes of “The Next Round,” which aired on Sportscenter and ESPN.com), SMS campaigns, and innovative mobile advertising round out the bourbon brand’s successful digital profile.


To learn more about the new Spirits rankings and research, download an excerpt of the report here.


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