William Grant & Sons Hires ISL as Agency of Record for Seven Brands



Over the past few years, ISL has grown and honed our service offerings to focus on the intersection of online and off with brands such as Miller Coors and Facebook while continuing to partner with top brands such as Kroger on all things digital and social. The intersection of these core services is our sweet spot (others agreed: check out our Small Agency of the Year award!).

When William Grant & Sons, an independent, family-owned Scottish company that distills Scotch whisky and other select categories of spirits, began a process last year to find a new Digital and Social Media Agency of Record, they found what they were looking for in ISL.

After a competitive review, we’re proud to announce that ISL is William Grant & Sons new Digital and Social Media Agency of Record, responsible for digital and social media activities for 7 of their portfolio brands in the US.

If you know ISL, you know that this couldn’t be a better fit! A run down of the global brands the ISL team will be working on out of our NYC and DC offices are as follow:



The Balvenie

The Balvenie

Tullamore D.E.W.


Hendrick’s Gin


Sailor Jerry Rum


Flor De Caña Rum


Milagro Tequila


Introducing The Social Memo: January 2015


Introducing the Social Memo a series of posts meant to cover any new tools, platform changes, or interesting data in Social Media. 

Facebook has made some major announcements in the past few months that are changing the way marketers manage their Facebook pages. Perhaps the most notable change is to their newsfeed algorithm, penalizing the organic reach of promotional posts. This decision is based off of the social network’s survey data, which reveled users wanting to see more content from friends and brand pages they “like” and less promotional content. According to Facebook there are three main traits that make an organic post appear promotional:

1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app

2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context

3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from Facebook Ads

The two ads below are examples, provided by Facebook, that host these qualities:



While this change is positioned as a benefit to users, which I believe it is, it is also clear that Facebook is sending a powerful message to marketers: if you want to advertise on Facebook then you are going to have to pay. That said, Facebook is  deliberate in stating that this move does not change how paid promotions work.

Note that the key word here is “advertise.” If you are simply trying to push your product, then you will need to pay for those advertisements, because that is exactly what they are…advertisements. It’s no different than having to pay for placement in a magazine, on a billboard, or on television. Facebook is not implementing anything detrimental to those brands that are producing quality social content for their fans. That means brands can still generate engagement on Facebook without having to pay for it — they just need to stop producing “advertisements” and start creating awesome content.

Get Paid To User Test Our Projects

user testing
Here at ISL, we’ve been working hard on building better UX processes so as to provide the best possible sites/apps/products/experiences. Most recently, a passionate internal group of UX’ers have been tackling user testing and recruiting. They are figuring out how to most effectively conduct user testing and how to more easily find users to test the projects and prototypes we’re developing. This dear reader is where you come in!
Why do we need you? Our projects require us to test with wildly diverse groups of individuals. The types of testing we do most frequently are ones that involve either a live prototype or simply a conversation with a user about daily habits. Seeing the process through which different people complete certain tasks is valuable information for us. For example, you may prepare your morning cereal by pouring in the cereal before the milk to insure that there will always be a good ratio of milk to cereal; while I may eat my cereal dry and wash it down with milk so that it never gets soggy. But, since you are part of our target audience, your cereal eating habits (whatever they may be) will be what we care about, study, and eventually design for.
Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 3.18.40 PM

So, does this sound awesome or like something you would love to do with us? Did I mention that we often pay you for your time? Does it sound even better now? If so, please fill out this survey so we can get some quick background information. When we have an opportunity to involve you we will contact you with more specifics.

17 Presents We Want for the Holidays This Year


Need some inspiration for what to buy your favorite ISLer? Here’s what’s on our wish list for the holidays!

These can be shipped directly to 1630 Connecticut Ave NW, Floor 7, Washington, D.C. 20009. Please and thanks! :)

1) Om/One – The World’s First Levitating Bluetooth Speaker. Because why would you want a bluetooth speaker that sits on the ground? That would be ridiculous.


2)  iCukoo - An app that donates to a charity of your choice every time you hit the snooze button. Finally… the lazier you are, the more positive impact you have on the world.


3) COBI – Turn your ordinary bike into a smart bike… with your smart phone.


4) Neat Ice Kit – A set of tools for creating perfect ice for your at-home cocktails. Fancy ice for fancy people.


5) Nixie – A wearable camera that flies off your wrist on-demand to capture new perspectives. It’s a camera that flies. IT FLIES.


6) Copenhagen Wheel - An attachment that transforms your bicycle into a smart electric hybrid, quickly and easily.


7) Little Bits - The Smart Home Kit can turn any household object into an internet-connected device.


8) Polaroid Cube - Splash-resistant, shockproof, mountable, and built to handle everything you can imagine. Also…it’s adorable.


9) Zeiss VR One – Don’t look down at your phone anymore… strap it to your face.


10) V.360 Panoramic Video Camera – A beautiful camera that records beautiful 360 video.


11) Bionic Bar – A new bartending system that uses a human-like robotic arm to customize your perfect cocktail. Human bartenders were so 2014.


12) Bowers & Wilkins P7 Headphones – “HiFi stereo headphones fit for a bawse!” – Johnny


13) LikeAGlove - This smart garment uploads a 3D rendering of your exact body measurements to your mobile device so that you always order the right size clothes. Fixing online shopping woes for the non-models of the world.


14) Withings Activité - A new, beautiful watch that tracks both time and your health.


15) L3D Cube – A 3D LED cube that responds to music. We sneezed on the beat, and the beat got sicker.


16) Yuneec E-GO Electric Skateboard – Come on… it’s an electric skateboard.


17) E-Traces – Arduino-fitted ballet shoes that translate a dancer’s physical movements into digital pictures.


2014 Mobile Year In Review


Hello Internet, For the 5th year, we worked with DC based Mobile Future to recap the state of mobile technology from the year 2014. Using visual design and some really cool animation to highlight interesting data + statistics, we put together the following video. Enjoy! Some of our favorite stats include:

  • Global mobile data traffic grew by 81% this year.
  • 19 million connected wearable devices will have shipped by the end of the year.
  • Wireless carriers invested a record $33 billion in wireless infrastructure in 2014.
  • The Brazil vs. Germany World Cup game was the most tweeted sports event in history.
  • 2014 saw Queen Elizabeth II send her first tweet from a tablet.
  • Ellen DeGeneres’ 2014 Oscar selfie crashed Twitter by garnering over one million retweets.

If one year in review isn’t enough, check out 2013, 2012, 2011 and  2010.