Shaking up ROI in the Drinks Sector

Posted by: Amanda Mulquiney - 28.05.24

How Smart Production gives you more returns for your drinks brand

We work with a lot of clients in the drinks sector. So, we get the cocktail of problems they come up against. Whether it’s compliance with changing regulations, shrinking budgets, or cutting through the noise, it’s a tough market to be in right now. Add a dash of ever-advancing AI and a sprinkle of tech confusion and it’s no wonder drinks brands find it hard to keep up.

Whatever issues you are facing, what we call “Smart Production” is an efficient and cost-effective way to produce sparkling content and get a bigger return on investment. We’ve seen it work time and time again for our clients. 

In this blog, we dive into what Smart Production is, the benefits and real life examples. So grab a cuppa or your favourite spritzer and let’s dive in. 


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In short, Smart Production is a suite of tech and production methods that you can mix and match. Combining them in the right way can save you time, budget and hassle.

As an agency, we stay product agnostic. This means we never favour one method of production over another. Simply tell us what you need, and we’ll tailor a bespoke solution that not only ticks all the boxes but pushes the boundaries. Utilising our years of experience working with some of the biggest global brands we utilise our production agnostic approach to deliver the right solution for you. We streamline the process, offering you all your content needs under one roof. Wave goodbye to your production logistics headaches and say hello to market-ready future-proof content. Ready when you are, for today and tomorrow.

We call it Smart Production. From captivating visuals to compelling narratives, content has become the heartbeat of modern communication. Whether you’re in need of stunning CGI, captivating photography, or immersive AR experiences, our diverse range of services has you covered. With expertise in Virtual & Hybrid Production, Video & Animation, Artificial Intelligence, and more, we have the tools and knowledge to bring your vision to life.

In short, Smart Production is a suite of tech and production methods that you can mix and match. Combining them in the right way can save you time, budget and hassle. 

We always aim to give you the biggest ROI and most efficient way of working. It’s all delivered by our expert team who work with you through the process to deliver the project and meet your targets. This means you can create more quality content, for less.



The huge range of production methods means you can literally take your production further than ever before. Think green screen backdrops that seamlessly take your campaign to another country, or detailed product prototypes with CGI that let you show off your range before it hits the shelves. 

Let’s dive a bit deeper. What does each part of our Smart Production offering look like?


Eliminate the need for elaborate set construction, location scouting and weather praying with CGI as part of your production. Customise pretty much anything from product prototypes, to models, to backdrops, giving you limitless possibilities. Our team has produced thousands of high-quality, photo-realistic CG stills and animations over the past 15 years. 

McKinsey & Co found that businesses using [CGI and] virtual production methods slashed their time to market by an average of 40%, resulting in boosted revenue streams.


We’ve all seen Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) working to get brands noticed worldwide – whether it’s a jacket on Big Ben or a skin care product sailing the Thames. We offer both, along with Extended Realities (XR) – a mix of AR, VR and Mixed Realities for next level customer experiences.


We’ve shot stills and videos all over the world. We’ve built 100’s of sets inside our 35,000 sq ft of studio space, from Outdoor Christmas scenes to gorgeous living rooms, videoed championship cycling in the hills of Spain, and shot from the wings of a harrier jump jet. We’ll take on any photography challenge you have.


Virtual and hybrid production help you to get to market faster and cut spend by combining tech and creative. Combining tech and creative gives your brand the best of both worlds. It makes fantastical, budget-zapping set builds that would be completely out of budget in real life. Think anything from creating CGI prototypes, to virtual models, to photorealistic sets and backdrops – all without travelling. 

According to a report by Harvard Business Review, companies that embraced virtual production experienced up to 30% reduction in production costs compared to traditional methods.


We have scriptwriters, storyboarders, and full edit facilities in-house, ready to work on your video project – whether it’s on set, on location, or in our studio. We also offer top-notch animation services to bring your ideas to life with dynamic visuals. Not sure what you want? No problem. Our in-house creative teams have conceptualised and directed videos for many of the UK’s best-known brands – from celebrity collaborations to product demonstrations.


AI won’t solve everything, but it may get us there faster. Our tech team is already on the case, testing and collating AI tools ready for brands like you to use when creating your content. 


Visualise and sell your products in all their HD glory from anywhere, on any device. Directly inside your eCommerce stack or through a browser. 3D product configurators are becoming more recognised by users and are proving to be really effective. Studies show that they can increase conversion rates by up to 40% (source: PureWeb).


Our post-production team is based in our studios and works right alongside our production team. This means from colour grading to retouching, VO recording to SFX they can start doing their stuff before the shoot is over. 


At Ride Shotgun, you’ll work with the champagne of creative and content strategy teams. Our experts in production, editing and everything in-between are under one roof. This covers five state-of-the-art studios full of cutting-edge facilities, commercial-grade catering equipment, flexible set design and even mixologists on speed dial.


When it comes to tech-fueled content production, we’ve tried and tested what works. From AI to help develop creative concepts, to CGI batch automation, to HD screens in virtual production, it’s all there in our Smart Production offering. So, we can chat with you about your project, find what works, then we invest in tech so you don’t have to. That way you can leave it to us to make your content go further. 



No matter where you are in your content production journey, we think BIG. Strategically, creatively, and in production, we aim high, delivering exceptional results all in one place.

With three flexible ways of working – Inhouse, external, or implant – we tailor our approach to meet your team’s needs. But we don’t stop there. Our BIG production solutions elevate your projects to new heights. Rather than just responding to your brief, we can build dedicated teams that tackle complex infrastructure challenges head-on.

Partner with us to expand your production team without the risk and expense of creating an internal studio. Experience all the expertise, without any of the hassle.

Ready to discover how we can revolutionise your content production? Reach out to us today.



Still not convinced? Let’s show you what we mean. Here are a mix of examples showing how we’ve overcome production challenges for some of the world’s best drinks brands – including Diageo, Pepsico and Nestle.


These days, personalisation comes as standard. People want to feel important to brands, but how on earth are you meant to target everyone? That was PepsiCo’s challenge to us. 

They wanted to show customers Pepsi mixes well with any meal or occasion. But they needed to show it across their entire European market. All of which have very different tastes.

We created a multichannel content activation programme. This means a mix of assets to show the beverages and meals that each market would enjoy most. Then we served it on a silver platter across PepsiCo’s European eCommerce channels. 

First up, we created high quality photographic assets in our studios. Then using our innovative, in-house FUSE software, thousands of layered files were created so local markets could pick and choose how best to engage with their target customers. 

All in all we created assets for 35 different drink recipes, 30 PepsiCo variations per recipe. This led to 19,244 asset combinations delivered with data baked-in to personalise each individual digital experience. An approach that would’ve been out of budget using traditional methods. 



Diageo needed an agency partner to create a high volume of beautiful and inspirational video and stills content. These needed a strategic steer to work across multiple territories while answering the informative needs of the site.

Based on short, strategic insight, we uncovered a smart production approach delivering the customer needs in a scalable way. We were able to meet the multiple requirements of the brief by using a templated method that created both time and cost efficiencies. The project was planned meticulously. From pre planning to post production, timings were clear, adhered to and kept on track with delivery of all assets uncompromised.

Diageo were delighted with the content produced and are already seeing positive results. Within 5 days of the Whiskey Sour content we produced going live on their site, Google Analytics showed that the average time spent on page has increased from 11 seconds to over 3 minutes since the video was added. So there’s a really strong implication that the video has improved engagement with that page.



Nestle was looking to disrupt the professional coffee space by launching a plant-based creamer for Baristas that gives customers the perfect foamy top.

It was our job to produce assets to drive awareness of the product and its benefits in an engaging way. It needed to stand out to purchase decision makers and baristas. And show the product is a great alternative to dairy milk.

We created a campaign that showcased the product being used by baristas in a way that you would expect to see dairy milk being used – with latte art being central to the idea. The line ‘By Barista for Baristas’ showed the product had been developed alongside professional baristas and gives the viewer confidence in the product.

Feedback from the client was immensely positive as a result of the brilliantly executed assets  “Great work done – We love them!”

So there you have it – the challenges facing CMOs in the drinks sector and how we can help. It’s a tough market out there, but with the right people by your side it’ll be cheers to a job well done.

Ready to Shake Up Your ROI?

At Ride Shotgun, we’re constantly staying ahead of the curve for our readers and clients – whatever sector you’re in. When technology changes, when budgets shrink, or when creativity needs a boost, you need an agency that’s in the know. Got a project? We’d love to hear more about it. Contact us today and we’ll drop you a line.

We’ve got your back, creating stunning content whatever format, for whatever channel, for today and tomorrow. GET IN TOUCH.