Once upon a time in Hollywood, anyone who was anyone had a liquor brand endorsement. You know the sort of ads we mean, the 1960s was littered with them – Woody Allan shows his mug(s) off for a Smirnoff Mule Party or Sean Connery looking pensive for Jim Beam.
But that was a long time ago, Now, the fans (and to some degree the liquor brands themselves), expect so much more. It’s not enough to just lend your face to a brand, now you need to front up some cash, believe in the brand and provide a little creative direction, if not actual involvement.
These days you can hardly throw a jigger in a liquor store without hitting a celebrity brand. Ryan Reynolds has Aviation Gin, Matthew McConaughey has Wild Turkey, David Beckham has Haig Club, Robert De Nero has VDKA 6100 …hell, even Metallica has Blackened Whiskey.
But the problem, according to a new app called GrapeStars, is that consumers have struggled to find many of the 200+ celebrity brands at retailers. But fear not, the app has a solution. Through its feed, fans can get those brands and products shipped directly to their door.
With an ambition to be the ‘amazon of celebrity drinks’, GrapeStars is currently seeking crowdfunding, with the platform Republic. At the time of publication, the campaign has raised US$55,864 of its US$500,000 goal.
Featured on the platform are wine and spirits brands from celebrities including Brad Pitt, Andrea Bocelli, Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ryan Reynolds, Drake, Nick Jonas, Kate De Castillo, Robert De Niro, Matthew McConaughey, Justin Timberlake, John Legend, 50 Cent and many more.
The innovative app provides users with a highly engaging experience with several unique features. For example, fans can discover previously unknown products from celebrities, read up on the latest industry news from the brand’s blog, or browse exclusive celeb news and content.
Future pipelined features will allow GrapeStars to become not only a marketplace but also a social media platform for fans to interact with their favourite celebrities through augmented reality (AR) and AI features. Other pipelined features include a virtual sommelier giving users recommendations, chat room between users, and live streams of shows and events.
Additionally, users will soon be able to “give back” via GrapeStars Round-Up, which is linked to a charity affiliated with a celebrity of choice.
As a third-party marketer, GrapeStars gets its revenue from a 15% commission fee charged to its retailer partners for the products sold through the platform.
Founder and CEO Jean-Jean Pelletier expects to make over US$100m in revenue in the next five years. The crowdfunding campaign ends in September with funds to be used to further develop the app and expand it into international markets. At present, the app is only available to the US with delivery guaranteed for 45 out of the 50 states.
For more information on the app, go to grapestars.com
For more information on the crowdfunding, go to republic.co