top of page

Case Study - Jim Beam, DeKuyper Pucker Schnapps

Jim Beam Brands' DeKuyper® Pucker™ Schnapps is a fun alcoholic beverage, which traditionally appealed to younger adults.

An innovator in flavored liqueur, DeKuyper was among first to come to market in the early 1990's. The brand wanted to engage its current audience and bring in a new demo 35+, and introduce them to a new way to update their favorite cocktails...with flavor and color.

At the same time, a new trend had been created in southern California, the Appletini, that the company wanted to share nationwide.


Creative events increase engagement, media & launch a worldwide trend

Appletini recipe New York Times
Appletini recipe, Jim Beam Brands DeKuyper Pucker Schnapps, public relations agency, Chicago
Jim Beam Brands DeKuyper Pucker Schnapps public relations agency Chicago
Flavored martinis

DeKuyper® Pucker™ Schnapps is a fun alcoholic beverage, which traditionally appealed to younger adults.Our challenge was to create programming that would be fun for adults 35+ while gaining awareness of the product and formally introduce the Pucker™ Appletini using PR.


The diverse uses for the product to add flavor to martinis and traditional favorites like gin and tonics, was key to successfully targeting the desired demographic.Utilize local not-for-profit organizations to create additional PR element.


DeKuyper® Pucker™ Longest Kiss Challenge 2000 – a unique event and comprehensive public relations program that coincided with in-store promotions, and a post-event national push for the Pucker™ Appletini in 25 markets, including; Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Chicago, Louisville, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Boston and New Orleans.

Budget $1M


DeKuyper® Pucker™ Schnapps hosted kissing challenges in 25 US cities, benefiting local charities. The idea was for couples to kiss as long as they could for $1,000 in first place prize money, $500 second place and $250 third place. All participants paid a small entrance fee, which went to a local charity, along with a $10,000 donation from the company.


Tie-ins with radio sponsors and radio promotions/ad buys before the contest created buzz around the event and encouraged people to come participate. Other promotional support came from radio and charity websites, the charity (conducted its own radio interviews) and on-premise signage, put up by each market’s product representatives prior to the event.

Public Relations:

While media was accomplished in every market, in 10 primary markets we contracted a dating expert  for a media tour for in-market radio, television, print interviews to continue build up for the event. The expert focused on kissing and dating tips. We created a booklet with recipes and kissing/dating tips that was distributed at the event. The quirkiness of the event naturally drew interest from local media prior to and on the day of the event.


All market media attended and ran post-contest results, especially radio and TV that produced initial coverage. Overall over 50 newspapers, 78 television and 60 radio stations covered the event.

An average of four media interviews and mentions pre-event with dating/kissing expert in 10 markets.


While producing the event the Pucker™ Appletini was made available for sampling. We took the coverage from the event and leveraged it to push the growing trend in New York City, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles of the Pucker™ Appletini. It resulted in placements, including New York Times, USA Today, InStyle, Playboy, LA Times, Food & Wine magazine and the cover of the Chicago Sun-Times' Food Section, followed by immediate pick up by television affiliates and radio stations.

The client was thrilled with the amount of publicity the unique and fun event received, as well as the number of bottles sold on-premise for each event. Overall, the event achieved the client’s goals for the product line and encouraged an increase of on-premise sales in several key markets.


Jennifer Fortney was awarded with a personal bonus from Jim Beam Brands for running the nearly $1M program single-handedly, and acting as company spokesperson.

  • 53 newspapers

  • 78 television

  • 60 radio stations

  • New York Times - picked up by 30 national media and hundreds of media across the country

  • Millions of media impressions

I worked with Jennifer on the Jim Beam Brands' DeKuyper Pucker Schanapps "Longest Kiss" event. Jennifer's work is exceptional. Not a detail was left unattended to. She really makes the effort to go above and beyond. She wants her client to not only be happy with the end result, but to be happy with every step along the way. She is professional, honest and effecient. I highly recommend!"

Kristin Cerwin, Former Area Manager for Beam Wine Estates

bottom of page