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818 to the 205

Photo via Instagram by @drink818

Published on February 8, 2024, 11:58 a.m.
by CamiLee Downey

You have been living under a rock if you have not heard of Kendall Jenner’s company 818 Tequila. Since the brand’s launch in 2020, 818 has won 43 blind tasting awards at 13 international spirits competitions.

The reality TV star/supermodel has had a whirlwind of media attention on her brand since its inception almost four years ago. However, last fall, she began going on trips to college towns across the country to promote the brand. According to Daily Mail, she visited Ohio State University in Columbus, Indiana University in Bloomington, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

On Feb. 6, 2024, Jenner made a trip to another well-known college town: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Home to the legendary Crimson Tide, Tuscaloosa is known for its party culture and wealth of bars.

Indulging in good public relations

Photo via Instagram by @innisfreettown

With countless celebrity alcohol brands being launched regularly, the 818 brand needs to find a way to stand out among its competition. Of course, 818’s Instagram account has over 1.1 million followers, and Jenner’s personal account has over 294 million. So, while social media attention might not be a problem for this brand, in-person PR visits like these make the target public excited about the brand and its products.

818 set up two events at two popular college bars in Tuscaloosa: Innisfree Irish Pub and The Houndstooth, both within a mile radius of UA’s campus. These events queued lines down the street to get a coveted 818 Tequila hat and the chance for a glimpse at Jenner herself as she poured drinks and served fans. Jenner has taken a “very present approach to promotion” with her publicity strategies, according to DMT. Jenner being present at her events shows she cares and has attachment to the brand and its success.

Drinking it all in

With UA students lined up inside and outside of the buildings, it is safe to say that these PR events for 818 were successful in getting the brand’s visibility up with college students. Jenner coming to the events in person added a personal touch that could not have been achieved without her. Her excitement to meet and serve all who showed up at the events was evident in an Instagram story posted by Jenner on her personal account @kendalljenner.

After visiting Tuscaloosa, Jenner jetted over to Athens, Georgia, to continue promoting the brand.

Which college town will this celebrity business owner turn up in next?

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