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Top 10 spirits marketing moves in May 2019

Last month’s top marketing moves included the global roll out of the 2019 Malibu Games, Chase Distillery’s first advertising campaign and a podcast series that tells the history of Irish whiskey.

The 2019 Malibu Games campaign features in our pick of top marketing moves
The 2019 Malibu Games campaign features in our pick of top marketing moves

In our latest marketing round-up, we take in VK’s new summer campaign featuring Love Island stars Alex and Olivia Bowe, while Rooster Rojo Tequila had a starring role in action film Avengement.

Bacardi-owned Martini brought back its Ciclismo series and Douglas Laing launched a new marketing push for its Scallywag whisky range.

Over the following pages, we name our top marketing moves launched in May 2019.


Global Brands-owned VK has launched its VK Sorts Your Summer campaign, in which it partners with Love Island stars Alex and Olivia Bowen.

As well as marketing materials featuring the reality TV stars, VK will run a host of experiential activities over the summer that give drinkers the chance to be styled by the Love Island duo, win exclusive branded merchandise and taste limited edition VK flavoured adult sweets.

As part of the campaign, VK has also launched an on-­pack promotion that gives shoppers the chance to claim 20% off in UK high street fashion store New Look when they buy the brand’s mixed 10­-pack.


Pernod Ricard has launched its 2019 Malibu Games campaign, focusing on the “daytime drinking occasion” and “richer experiences”.

The Malibu Games campaign was launched as part of the brand’s #BecauseSummer platform and features “bold retakes” on summer games, including water fights and dance-­offs.

This year, the campaign features 32 ‘influencers’ from nine countries, including comedian and model Hannah Stocking and Dominican singer Natti Natasha.

Malibu Games aims to focus on the change in consumer behaviour towards richer experiences.

Irish Distillers

Irish Distillers has launched a five-­part podcast series that tells the history of Irish whiskey. Produced by Last Cast Media, A Story of Irish Whiskey explains how the Jameson, Powers and Murphy families came together in 1966 to transform the fortunes of the category.

The podcast details the highs and lows of Irish whiskey throughout the 20th and 21st centuries through interviews, archive recordings and “dramatic” recreation.

Conor McQuaid, CEO and chairman of Irish Distillers, said: “We believe that now is the time to tell the story of Irish whiskey to an ever-­growing audience, and further promote the reputation of one of Ireland’s most iconic exports.”

Episodes in the series are available to download now.


Herefordshire-based Chase Distillery has launched its first advertising campaign, which celebrates the brand’s “field-­to-­bottle” production. The All in the Chase campaign highlights the single-estate ethos of Chase Distillery.

James Chase, global brand ambassador for Chase Distillery, said: “We want premium gin consumers to understand our Chase field­-to­-bottle story, so launching our first advertising campaign felt like the next step in our journey as a family business.”

The campaign will be supported by a 70­-second film by Anthony Farquhar­Smith, as well as print advertising and out­-of-­home executions.

The film features a collage of stop-­animated illustrations and photography, and will launch nationwide through Curzon and Everyman cinema groups, and 160 independent cinemas.

Rooster Rojo

Rooster Rojo Tequila has secured its first appearance on the silver screen with a placement in action film Avengement.

The film tells the story of a criminal, played by English actor and martial arts expert Scott Adkins, who escapes prison in search of revenge.

Rooster Rojo is the drink of choice for the villains who lock horns with Adkins’s character.

Jesse Johnson, the film’s director, said: “To ensure the realistic storyline, we needed an edgy and cool drink that hasn’t been exploited anywhere yet. Rooster Rojo was the right option.”

Avengement premiered in the US through Samuel Goldwyn Films on 24 May and will be released in the UK on 17 June, followed by Blu­-ray and DVD release on 1 July.


Martini has announced the return of its Ciclismo series, a training programme for bartenders that culminates in the La Classica bike ride from Florence to Rome.

The Ciclismo programme aims to encourage hospitality workers to “embrace a healthy lifestyle” through indoor cycling-­training classes and two regional community rides.

Participating bartenders will take part in indoor cycling sessions, where they will compete to win apparel from the Martini Racing Ciclismo cycling kit.

Bartenders who take part in at least five training sessions will be in with a chance of winning a spot on the La Classica ride across Italy in September.


Independent Scotch whisky bottler Douglas Laing has launched a new marketing push for its Scallywag whisky range.

Scallywag, which is part of the company’s Remarkable Regional Malts series, has unveiled campaign materials that show a bottle of whisky surrounded by summer berries to emphasise its Sherry­-cask maturation.

The brand will also increase its social media presence and invite fans to take part in its ‘A Dram with Dad’ initiative in the lead up to Father’s Day (16 June).

Several giveaways are also in the pipeline to drive further consumer engagement.


Reyka vodka has partnered with the National Audubon Society to launch its Adopt-­a­-Puffin scheme, which supports the protection of puffins around the world.

The Icelandic brand is donating to the society’s Project Puffin to support the endangered species.

Brand ambassador Trevor Schneider said: “Since Reyka Vodka is made of Iceland, and puffins are an integral part of Icelandic culture, it’s important for us as a brand to help puffins in any way we can.”

The programme will run until autumn 2019.


Altia has launched a new creative campaign for Larsen Cognac, which it says highlights the brand’s “heritage and personality”.

Created by communications agency Mazarine, the newly­-launched Larsen Spirit of Exploration campaign is said to offer a “fresh, modern perspective on Cognac”.

Alongside the campaign, Larsen has unveiled a new bottle design, created by French design agency Linea and inspired by the flask bottle shape.

The updated label features stamps, texture and gold foiling, while the bottle also incorporates an embossed logo and ship emblem said to signify the “attention to detail” behind the brand.

Ron Relicario

Spain-based drinks producer Beveland Distillers has created a promotional film for its Ron Relicario rum brand.

Taste the Legend tells the story of Ron Relicario, which was inspired by the discovery of two bottles of long-­forgotten rum.

The film, which debuted on the brand’s YouTube channel, pays homage to the creation of Ron Relicario Superior and Supremo rums.

Taste the Legend explores the discovery of the bottles, the brand’s desire to replicate their flavour and aroma, and the satisfaction of sharing the finished product.

Ron Relicario Superior rum is a blend of five- and 10­-year-­old Dominican rums, while the brand’s Supremo bottling combines rums distilled from molasses and aged for 10­-15 years in ex­-Bourbon barrels.

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