Most innovative marketing campaigns in JanuaryBy Melita Kiely
A smattering of celebrity faces are attaching themselves to brands while other producers are adding some artistic flair to their marketing techniques.
With Christmas festivities out the way, January saw an array of fresh marketing campaigns launched around the world.
While former footballer Michael Owen made his TV advert debut for Spey Whisky, Gordon’s Gin brought its iconic boar logo to life in a short commercial.
Making waves in the worlds of sports and spirits was an iconic gin brand who signed a multi-million pound sponsorship deal with a top horse racing firm, while elsewhere not one, but two brands agreed a sponsorship deal with a leading Formula One racing team.
However, for those who prefer music and art, there were promotional music packs, “GIf-ITI” creations and photography showcase.
For a comprehensive round-up of the top 10 spirits marketing campaigns launched in January, click through to the following pages.
Keep the Secret, Spey Whisky
To kick off 2015, former Manchester United striker Michael Owen released his first TV advert for Spey Whisky since taking on the role of global brand ambassador last June.
The commercial was first aired in China and depicts Owen celebrating his “passion in life”, thoroughbred horse racing, with Spey Whisky, before finishing by asking viewers to “keep the secret”.
It follows the launch last December of the no-age-statement Spey Whisky Micahel Owen 1412 in Taiwan, which marked the retired footballer’s birthday.
Formula One, Jose Cuervo Tequila and Smirnoff
Formula One team Sahara Force India signed a sponsorship deal with Jose Cuervo Tequila, as Smirnoff vodka also announced the new renewal of its agreement for the 2015 F1 season.
Jose Cuervo agreed a 12-month partnership with the team, owned by United Spirits chairman Vijay Mallya, which will see the brand’s logos displayed on the cars’ headrests, drivers’ suits and team clothing.
This year, Smirnoff’s branding will appear across the front of the drivers’ outfits, just above Mallya’s Kingfisher beer.
Juan Domingo Beckmann, CEO of Jose Cuervo, said: “Everyone at Jose Cuervo believes that 2015 is a year of great potential for this team, especially in the build up to the Mexican Grand Prix later this year.”
My Vyotsky, Green Mark Vodka
In a musical turn of events, Russian vodka brand Green Mark collaborated with a renowned musician to launch a limited edition promo-pack.
The premium vodka partnered with Russian artist Garik Sukachov on the pack, which was released to mark the launch of his new album, My Vyotsky.
Featuring two 500ml bottles of Green Mark plus a copy of Sukachov’s new CD, the pack is available in major national retail chains in Russia.
My Vyotsky features 13 tracks written by Vladimir Vyotsky – an influential Soviet- era singer songwriter.
Green Mark described the limited edition release as allowing “its Russian fans to appreciate their favourite Vyotsky tunes in Sukachov’s contemporary rock style”.
The Jockey Club, Greenall’s Gin
Sports sponsorships came in thick and fast last month. Among the multitude of signings was Greenall’s Gin agreed a £3 million three-year sponsorship deal to become the official partner of The Jockey Club, which organises several top horse racing events in the UK each year.
Commencing at the start of January this year, the sponsorship will encompass exclusive pourings and activation rights across 15 of the nation’s best-known race courses, as well as a fully integrated marketing campaign for Greenall’s Gin.
The Jockey Club hosts horse racing events including The Cheltenham Festival, The Investec Derby at Epsom and The Crabbie’s Grand National.
The brand expects to be able to reach roughly two million customers every year through the 340 racing events organised by The Jockey Club, plus more than 20 million terrestrial TV viewers in the UK alone.
Good Spirited, Bacardi
The Good Spirited campaign launched last year, but in January Bacardi extended its environmental campaign by partnering with Ryder System to promote sustainable shipping practices.
Known for its fleet of trucks, tractors and trailers, the collaboration with Ryder will generate more sustainable logistics and supply-chain solutions allowing a greater number of Bacardi’s shipments to switch from truckload to intermodal.
The partnership also brings an alliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), SmartWay Transport Partnership programme, which promotes vehicles equipped with clean, fuel efficient SmartWay Verified Technologies.
Scotch whisky brand Ballantine’s partnered with “GIF-ITI” artist INSA to create the world’s largest animated GIF, as part of its on-going Stay True campaign.
A team of 20 travelled to Rio de Janeiro and painted a huge animated piece of art on the ground in four stages, spanning four days and measuring 57,515 square metres in total.
The paintings were then filmed by a satellite orbiting 431 miles above the earth, which was then turned into a moving piece of “GIF-ITI_ by Insa.
The three-minute film is the third in a series of collaborations between both companies.
Spirit of Art, Giffard
Liqueurs and speciality spirits brand Giffard took its “Spirit of Art” campaign online with a new social media series featuring photographic portraits of 11 internationally known tattooed bartenders.
In partnership with Mangrove, the brand’s UK distributor, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the brand’s portfolio of liqueurs and speciality spirits.
Captured by photographer Theo Chalmers at Zilouf Bar in Islington, London, images of the chosen bartenders have been gradually published on Facebook and Twitter throughout January.
Additionally, each bartender put forward his own signature drink with a Giffard Liqueur or spirit that was also revealed throughout last month.
“We’re delighted to be working with Giffard to develop and unveil this innovative campaign,” said Nick Gillet, managing director of Mangrove. “It reflects not only the history of the company as one of the pioneers within the liqueurs category, but also the relevance of Giffard and its portfolio to the London bar scene today.”
Sundance Film Festival, Grey Goose
Bacardi’s Grey Goose vodka became the official spirit of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in the US last month.
The brand opened a Grey Goose Blue Door lounge to host cocktail receptions for filmmakers, celebrities and studio executives of the famed festival, based in Utah.
A signature cocktail serve using vodka and Cognac hybrid Grey Goose VX was also unveiled at the Blue Door, which was attended by celebrity faces including Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.
Grey Goose was also featured at other events throughout the independent film festival, which ran from 22-27 January.
Burns’ Night Supper, The Glenrothes
The Glenrothes set a new Guinness World Record in January by hosting the largest Burns Night Supper.
Berry Bros & Rudd, producer of the Scotch whisky brand, was asked to become the official spirits sponsor for Lord Provost’s Burns Supper 2015, which raised more than £102,000 for charity.
Hosted by Glasgow’s Lord Provost Sadie Docherty at The Thistle Hotel, the evening was attended by more than 645 guests, cementing its position as the biggest Burns Night Supper, as verified by Mark McKinley from Guinness World Records.
All proceeds were donated to the Lord Provost’s Malawi Fund, the Lord Provost’s Charity Funds and Bobath Scotland.
It’s got to be Gordon’s, Gordon’s Gin
Diageo gave its Gordon’s Gin brand a modern makeover with the launch of a new TV advert, as part of its £2 million marketing plan.
Part of the “It’s got to be Gordon’s” campaign, the 60-second commercial was first broadcast in the UK on Christmas Eve and features a new character called Gordon the Boar.
The boar image that has appeared on the Gordon’s Gin logo since 1769, and legend has it that a boar’s head was given to the Gordon’s family to bear their crest by a prince who saved a member of the Gordon family from an confrontation with a boar.
The video depicts Gordon dancing around a city flat while crafting a Gordon’s Gin and Tonic as he goes, and is expected the new advert will reach 78% of Gordon’s Gin’s target audience.
Diageo will launch the advertisement across multiple platforms, while an educational video of Gordon’s brand history has also been created for YouTube.