Mixers and Elixirs
Houston, TX — November 6, 2015
Team 4: Hannah Alkadi, Ruben Avila, Kelsey Boylan,
Kendell Brandon, Crista Faith Castro, Christian Davis,
Hunter Landrum, Diego Portillo, Michael Snell
Hosted by Lopez Negrete
Mission Statement and Table of Contents
To create awareness and generate
higher attendance for the Houston
Museum of Natural Science’s
monthly summer event, Mixers and
◎ Executive Summary
◎ Situation Analysis
◎ Research Methodology
◎ SWOT Analysis
◎ Creative Brief
◎ New Logo
◎ Social Media Plan
◎ Media Plan
◎ PR and Cross-Promotion
◎ Evaluation Methods
When we go to a museum we’re looking to learn, but more than that we’re
looking to be amazed. We want to see a T-Rex, to discover something about the
past that seems beyond imagination. But what about when we’ve already been
to the museum a couple times, and run out of adorable relatives to bring there?
What keeps us coming back? We think that special something that keeps Mixers
and Elixirs fresh month after month is the people who attend.
The people who attend are also a big part of what differentiates Mixers
and Elixirs from other nightlife options in Houston. The crowd attracted to
Mixers and Elixirs are more adventurous and intellectual than your typical
consumer. Based on this insight, we’ve created a campaign that highlights the
people who go there. We want to focus all the interesting people who attend
these events in a witty relatable way to encourage people to come as well as
giving them the opportunity to participate.
We believe given the amount of time our target spends online are budget
will go furthest if we spend it on social media and guerilla marketing to
increase engagements online and gain earned media.
Situation Analysis — About Mixers and Elixirs
Mixers & Elixirs is Houston Museum of Natural Science’s summer block
party, bringing together people from all walks of life to experience the
museum in a new way. The museum itself is a cultural celebration that takes
influence from around the world, with exhibits ranging from Egypt to
dinosaurs to the history of the Americas. Mixers & Elixirs brings together the
ancient and the modern, contrasting the culture of modern Houston with the
stories of the past. Visitors can walk the museum while enjoying live music
from local bands and DJs, food trucks, locally-crafted cocktails, and walking
in and out of dance halls.
Each monthly party has a different natural-science-oriented theme, with
past examples including “Talk Like a Pirate Day”, “Pluto Pity Party”, and “May
the Fourth be With You.”
Situation Analysis — About Mixers and Elixirs
Mixers & Elixirs is conveniently located in the heart of downtown
Houston, adjacent to The Houston Zoo and Texas Medical Center, and only a
short drive away from NRG Stadium, Midtown, and the University of Houston.
It’s more than just a party; Mixers and Elixirs brings together the best and
brightest from all around Houston for a party like no other. (Hogstrom, 2014)
Situation Analysis — Competitors
Mixers & Elixirs is an event like nothing else in Houston, but it does
compete for the same kinds of attention as many of Houston’s most popular
attractions. By combining elements of education and nightlife, Mixers &
Elixirs indirectly competes with numerous activities around town: the bars at
Midtown, concerts at venues like Miller Outdoor Theater, events at NRG
Stadium and other venues, Houston’s 18 other museums, and the dozens of
other events included in Houston Press’s Summer Event Guide. (Viggiano,
Houston’s diversity and size have led to a saturation in the market for
culture, arts, and entertainment, so the Museum of Natural Science has its
works cut out for it when it comes to cutting through the clutter of options
presented to the 21-44 demographic within Houston. Mixers & Elixirs presents
a unique offer that allows the museum the opportunity to grab a slice of this
in-demand demographic: convenient downtown location, drinks, unique
atmosphere, and interesting people.
Situation Analysis — Problem and Objective
Mixers & Elixirs targets the demographics that don’t normally attend science
museums: Millennials and Gen Xers who are out of college but do not yet
have a family. These adults, aged 21-44, do not typically associate parties and
social outings with science museums. The problem for the Houston Museum
of Natural Science is making their target demographic aware of and
interested in attending a social event at a museum.
The client’s objectives include:
- Defining the characteristics of the target market, adults ages 21-44 in
- Increasing target market awareness of Mixers & Elixirs events
- Increasing target market attendance at the 3 Mixers & Elixirs events next
Situation Analysis — Consumer Profile
Target Market: The target consumer is between the ages of 25-44, with a
minimum age of 21. Generation X and Y are a broad example of this age
demographic. Primary market. Common segment traits include culturally
awareness, college educated, single urban young professionals without children.
Example data is provided for selected zip-code regions within the Houston area as
representative of the target market segment (Claritas). Cumulatively, the target
Media Strategy – The target market is heavily influenced by trend setters, local
word of mouth, and alternative channels. Publications such as The Houston Press,
Houston Chronicle, Out Smart Houston, and Free Press Houston are key targets with
a wide audience and trendsetting influence. Due to budget constraints, focus
should be made on sharing evidence of “something new” with Mixers and Elixirs or
requesting a review or other feature on the event. These channels thrive on having
their pulse on the unique events around Houston that a diverse and urban
explorer readership crave. By HMNS featuring a local “pop-up” bar or upstart
brewery as the alcohol sponsor, as well as implementing other creative and
interactive themes, this would provide a basis for a “new look” of Mixers and
Elixirs to be shared with this captive audience.
Situation Analysis — Consumer Profile
Bohemian Mix – “A collection of mobile urbanites, Bohemian Mix represents the
nation's most liberal lifestyles. Its residents are an ethnically diverse, progressive
mix of young singles, couples, and families ranging from students to
professionals. In their funky row houses and apartments, Bohemian Mixers are
the early adopters who are quick to check out the latest movie, nightclub,
laptop, and microbrew” (Claritas).
Urban Achievers – “Concentrated in the nation's port cities, Urban Achievers is
often the first stop for up-and-coming immigrants from Asia, South America, and
Europe. These young singles, couples, and families are typically college-
educated and ethnically diverse: about a third are foreign-born, and even more
speak a language other than English” (Claritas).
Young Digerati – “Young Digerati are tech-savvy and live in fashionable
neighborhoods on the urban fringe. Affluent, highly educated, and ethnically
mixed, Young Digerati communities are typically filled with trendy apartments
and condos, fitness clubs and clothing boutiques, casual restaurants and all
types of bars--from juice to coffee to microbrew” (Claritas).
Zip Code Breakdown
Population of 20,660, median age
38.1 with 50% population between
ages 21-44 (Claritas).
Approximately 60% single person
households, 90% no children.
Population 20,694, median age
38.6, with 43% population between
ages 21-44 (Claritas).
Approximately 45% percent single
person household, 55% no
Population 13,637, median age
37.2, 50% population between
ages 21-44 (Claritas).
Approximately 55% single person
household, 70% no children
Population 34,141, median age 35.3, 50% population
between ages 21-44 (Claritas).
Approximately 55% single person household, 50% no
Population 32,825, median age 38.4, 36%
population between ages 21-44 (Claritas).
Approximately 55% single person household, 70%
Zip Code Breakdown — Continued
Population 17,066, median age 33.9
, 64% population between ages 21-
Approximately 70% single person
household, 95% no children.
Population 11,507, median age
33.4, 46% population between ages
Approximately 40% single person
household, 75% no children.
Population 26,078, median age
38.2, population between ages 21-
Approximately 25% single person
household, 45% no children.
Population 15,284, median age 39.4, population between ages 21-44 (Claritas).
Approximately 55% single person household, 65% no children.
Both primary research and secondary research were conducted in order to
better understand our target audience and create a better campaign. Qualitative
and quantitative data originated from surveys of available online promotional
materials, HMNS’s social media profiles, online databases, U.S. census data,
consumer interviews, and ethnographic research to better understand our
demographic in order to meets the needs of our objectives.
We found that Mixers & Elixirs has largely failed to effectively reach out
and appeal to the target market. Those who had attended a Mixers & Elixirs
event were often enthusiastic and quick to share their experience online. This
demographic consumes a great deal of entertainment and regularly attends
summer events; Mixers & Elixirs stands out in the minds of attendees but, in
the minds of the uninitiated, isn’t as appealing as other forms of
entertainment and nightlife.
Sources of primary research included:
- Interviews with event attendees and patrons of HMNS
- Analysis of social media related to and produced by HMNS
- Analysis of HMNS’s existing online presence
- Calls to local radio stations NPR and Pacifica
Secondary research gave us a broader perspective on our findings
regarding our target market, allowing us to show factual, relevant
information about the needs and wants of the adults of the Greater Houston
Metro. Millennials and Gen Xers offer a unique opportunity to increase the
attendance and interest in the HMNS. Secondary research largely delved into
the mind and wallet of the target market: how they think and how they
spend. Our research led us to decide on creative executions that fit the target
market and piqued their interest.
Sources of secondary research included:
- U.S. Census Data
- Claritas.com Zip Code Database
- Online articles pertaining to social media best practices
- Houston Press’s list of summer events in Houston
- Houston Museum District’s webpage
● Unique event venue
● In the heart of Houston culture scene
● Music, food, drink
● Large member network
● Established event history, 10+ years
● Budget available
● Event execution issues - long waits for guests
● Inconsistent schedule, difficult to cement
● Outdated logo
● Not interactive - static exhibits
● Unclear image, lack of awareness among
● Partner with local brewers/mixologists
● Recent influx of target market,
● Engage with customers on SM
● Make event more interactive, add additional
● Tie in food/drink with exhibits/themes
● Competing nightlife
● Perceived cost/parking barriers
● Overly promoting “Geek Culture” may alienate
other millennial demographics
● Being drowned out by competing promotions
on Museum SM accounts
● “Post one and done” strategy not ideal, repeat
notice needs to take place on SM
Why are we advertising? To increase Houston Museum of Natural Science’s
attendance and awareness at its summer Mixers & Elixirs events.
Whom are we talking to? Houstonians ages 21-44, namely Young Urban
What do they currently think about the product, client, brand? Most people
either don’t know about the events, don’t see the appeal of a party at a
What would we like them to think? We would like the target to think that
Mixers and Elixirs is a unique summer party full of Houston’s most interesting
Creative Brief — Continued
What is the single most persuasive idea we can convey? At a museum party,
people make the most interesting exhibits.
Why should they believe it? Because party at a museum is the perfect way to
bring together intelligent, interesting people for a social experience like no
Are there any creative guidelines from the client? Don’t change the name of the
event, utilize our existing social media outlets, and include a
“People make the most interesting exhibits.”
Our campaign’s theme is intentionally simple and plucked directly from
the “most persuasive idea” in our Creative Brief. It conveys the reason adults
ages 21-44 attend social gatherings: to meet interesting people. Many young
adults see museums as a staid and uninteresting tourist destination, not as a
place to meet people, so our theme is about turning those expectations on
their head. Attendees at Mixers & Elixirs aren’t just visiting a museum, they
are the exhibits at a lively and always-changing summer event, part of the
cultural fabric right at the epicenter of Houston. Our implementations reflect
this, each describing what it’s like being part of a living exhibition.
Social Media Plan
● Relevance: HMNS social media posts have more successful when the topic is
relevant and trending on that day. Signing up for a free service like Encore’s
Weekly Sidekick will allow for posts that can promote Mixers and Elixers
while also keeping it in line with what is going on in the real world.
● Engagement: Rather than just retweeting, favoriting, or ignoring, HMNS
should be having conversations with their passionate followers. Social
media users consider talking to a brand to be very fun.
● Featuring: Crowdsource from users posting in the event hashtag, and @-
mention them. They will share with their friends that they got the attention
and more users will be likely to do the same thing.
● Header photos: Dates and times for the Mixers and Elixers event should be on
FB and Twitter. Promotion should start early.
● Pre-promotion: Remind people that the event exists months in advance with
#TBT (Throwback Thursdays) or #FBF (Flashback Friday).
Social Media Plan — Continued
Witty tone on their social
We believe that that a
humorous tone not only
resonates with the target
audience but increases
We recommend using
Facebook and Twitter
analytics to get a better idea
of the best times to post,
rather than posting multiple
times a day to maximize
● Facebook: ~5 posts a day.
○ Suggestions: 1 post a day. Articles from different museums
or news stations don’t have the same effect as a post
indexed under a trending hashtag.
● Twitter: ~5 posts a day.
○ Suggestions: 2-3 scheduled posts/day, interactive. Twitter is
for conversations and HMNS can leverage their eager
audience on Twitter to create a more engaging experience.
○ Suggestions: 2-3 posts/day. Photos have less information to
digest as opposed to a text post.
Social Media Plan — Continued
● Free elixir: A picture of a unique drink with a small post advertising that the
first drink at the event is free. @-mention the brewery who sponsored that
drink for them to also share the photo.
● Crowdsourcing: People who post their photos from the event will receive
recognition on the museum’s social media and will encourage more
participation from other guests.
● Website: The event should have a page of its own on the website highlighting
the band playing, the drink menu, and price.
● Uber discount code: Partnering with popular app Uber would allow for
people to be able to ride back and forth to the event without endangering
their lives, providing more of an incentive to attend.
● Cross-promotion: Partnering with local breweries, the live band, and the food
trucks for them to also promote the event on their social accounts.
Executions — Radio Spot
“There’s a new exhibit coming to Houston’s Museum of Natural Sciences. For one
night only, we’ll have some very unusual specimens: come see, “Geologists trying to
dance” and “A Conversation without Cellphones”. All this and more only at Mixers and
Elixirs an after hours party at the Houston’s museum of Natural Sciences the first
Wednesday of every month this summer. There’ll be live music, Food Trucks, Cocktails,
oh and also dinosaurs but don’t worry this party is anything but dead. For more details
With this budget we think social media will be more effective than print
or radio which we wouldn’t be able to buy ads in with sufficient frequency to
reach a majority of our target market. In order to reach 21-44 year old
Houstonians with our limited budget our big idea for media placement is to
focus on social media and to have a guerilla portion of our campaign that will
encourage people to share content about the event as well as gaining earned
media. A large portion of this demographic spends a lot of time on social
media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which makes it good place
reach them and word of mouth will be more relatable. A high concentration
of our target spends time in Downtown Houston, so right before the event we
hope to have guerilla marketing there, as detailed in our creative strategy. We
hope this as part of a comprehensive media plan that heavily emphasizes
social media will spread the word and increase awareness about the event
focusing on word of mouth and gaining earned media. We hope
Mixers and Elixirs Media Budget
June July August
Social Media $150 $150 $150
Facebook $150 $150 $150
Instagram $125 $125 $125
Twitter $100 $100 $100
Snapchat $50 $50 $50
Equipment $150 $150 $150
Creating Video $500
Total $825 $1075 $575
Grand Total $2475
PR and Cross-Promotion Opportunities
Mixers & Elixirs grew in popularity by including local talent, primarily
DJs, food trucks, and bands. We will expand the cross-promotional
relationships with these and other partners in order to take advantage of
their networks and influence on the local arts and culture scene. We intend to
expand this offering, adding local mixologists and breweries to each event’s
lineup. We believe that a rotation of each of these five variables will distend
the unique environment of each month, keeping attendees coming month
after month, instead of leaving think that they’ve seen all Mixers & Elixirs has
We intend to evaluate the effectiveness of our campaign via online
interactions and attendance counts, which can be tracked with simple record
keeping and comparison between this and last years’ attendance and online
Based on our group’s prior experience in event promotion, we estimate
that 10% of those who interact meaningfully with any of HMNS’s social media
pages will ultimately attend an event.
What you’ve just read encapsulates the total ambition and effect
of our campaign, “People make the most interesting exhibits.” It
started with a realization that this event isn’t about mixers or elixirs,
it’s about bringing smart, insightful people together. Leading with
that, we looked into the best media to reach our audience and
created the most exciting executions we could to communicate our
We considered our limited budget and crafted strategies that
would encourage interactions and social sharing. Like any good plan,
ours relies on careful measurement, and we detailed how we will
gauge the campaign’s effectiveness and build on it.
◎ Hogstrom, Kim. 2014. “‘Mixers & Elixirs back for more brainy mingling at
◎ Viggiano, Brooke. 2015. “The 2015 Houston Summer Events Guide” http:
◎ U.S. Census Data
◎ Claritas.com Zip Code Database
◎ Online articles pertaining to social media best practices
◎ Houston Press’s list of summer events in Houston
◎ Houston Museum District’s webpage
Special thanks to all the people who made and released these awesome
resources for free:
◎ Presentation template by SlidesCarnival
◎ Photographs by Unsplash & Death to the Stock Photo (license)
As well as