Top 10 spirits marketing moves in April 2021By Owen Bellwood
From Johnnie Walker and Beam Suntory’s sustainability pledges to Grey Goose’s botanical-inspired film, we look back at some of the best marketing campaigns from April.
Spirits brands ramped up their sustainability efforts last month, including Diageo’s Johnnie Walker and Beam Suntory, which both unveiled new green initiatives.
Smirnoff vodka teamed up with a comedian to offer thousands of prizes to US drinkers, while Grey Goose unveiled its biggest marketing campaign to date with a new film for its Essences line.
Actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson backed the on‐trade by giving away guacamole to US consumers who visited bars and purchased a Teremana Tequila cocktail.
Over the following pages, we name our pick of the top marketing initiatives launched in April 2021.
Grey Goose vodka kicked off a campaign for its lower‐ABV Essences range during this year’s Oscars pre‐show.
During the pre‐show for the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony on 25 April, Grey Goose unveiled its first campaign film for the new Essences line.
The campaign ‘brings to life the natural ingredients’ found in the Essences range, which was released in February 2021.
The 60‐second clip follows a character who becomes immersed in a natural world after encountering a ‘playful, botanical alter‐ego’.
Martin de Dreuille, vice‐president, global marketing, Bacardi‐owned Grey Goose vodka, said: “The otherworldly, sensorial journey our main character is immersed in marks the next phase of our Essences campaign and introduces drinkers to a fresh new side of the Grey Goose world.”
Diageo-owned Johnnie Walker revealed its biggest environmentally focused campaign to date, which aims to make the brand more sustainable ‘from grain to glass’.
The Next Steps initiative will strive to make the blended Scotch whisky brand more sustainable by design. By 2030, the Next Steps programme aims to ensure Johnnie Walker’s whisky production is 100% net‐zero carbon and uses 100% renewable energy.
Furthermore, all packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable. The brand estimates that efforts to reduce its packaging will cut its carbon footprint by 15%.
The Lost Explorer
The Lost Explorer Mezcal has teamed up with the Voice for Nature Foundation, which aims to support organisations and initiatives that promote positive climate change.
The partnership will allow the brand to leverage the charity’s global network, and create and support an exchange of information and best practises from experts and stakeholders.
Tanya Clarke, CEO of The Lost Explorer Mezcal, said: “By respecting and honouring centuries‐old traditions and craft, while also exploring the advantages of new research, modern tools and technologies, the partnership with Voice For Nature Foundation marks a key milestone in making progress towards developing more sustainable Mexican enterprise whilst protecting the artisanal craft, heritage and biodiversity of this wonderful community.”
Dutch spirits producer Sir Edmond has unveiled a branded 18‐metre‐long truck, and is offering anyone that spots it the chance to win a bottle of gin.
The truck will serve multiple purposes, including transporting bottles of Sir Edmond Gin to European importers, shifting goods to ports in the Netherlands and delivering other branded merchandise created by the company.
The truck also features the brand’s signature flamingo logo. To be in with a chance of winning a bottle of Sir Edmond Gin, passers‐by should take a photo of the truck and upload it to their Instagram story, tagging @siredmondgin.
A winning photograph will be chosen every month for the next three months. Sir Edmond Gin is available in England, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
Highland Scotch whisky brand Cù Bòcan premiered a brand film to highlight its production and maturation processes.
The new film, created by filmmaker and cinematographer Scott Remy, aims to showcase Cù Bòcan’s small batch production techniques, lightly‐peated flavour and maturation methods.
The film, titled Unlock the Unusual, is available to view on the company’s YouTube channel.
Remy said: “I have always believed the most important aspect of filmmaking is emotion. Leaving an impression on the viewer and telling an honest story that is memorable. It’s been really fun making these for Cù Bòcan and so great to create something as unique as they have turned out to be.”
Alongside the brand film, Remy also created three short films for each product in the Cù Bòcan range.
Jim Beam Bourbon owner Beam Suntory will invest more than US$1 billion in green and social issues as part of its Proof Positive sustainability initiative.
Beam Suntory has set sustainability goals that go beyond net‐zero carbon emissions, and pledged to cut water use by 50% and achieve 100% watershed replenishment. The company will invest US$500 million to engage consumers to make responsible choices, donate one million volunteer hours, create greater diversity, equity and inclusion within the company, and more.
Proof Positive targets for 2030 and 2040 include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% across direct operations by 2030, and to remove more carbon than is emitted across the value chain by 2040. Water usage for every unit of production will be reduced by 50% by 2030.
Cazcabel marked Cinco de Mayo with the creation of the ‘world’s first’ Tequila board game. The annual Mexican celebration of Cinco de Mayo takes place on 5 May.
In order to mark the occasion and honour Mexico’s culture and heritage, Cazcabel Tequila has created a board game called La Lotería.
The game is a hand‐illustrated version of a Mexican bingo‐style game, in which players try to match all the pictures on the sheet, called la tabla, with those read out by the host from a deck of cards.
Each La Lotería game is presented in a magnetic box, and comes complete with a deck of cards, eight reusable la tabla sheets, pens, a rule sheet and a Spanish translation guide.
The game is available to purchase from the Cazcabel website, priced at £19.99 (US$28).
Scottish producer Edinburgh Gin created a limited edition label for its London Dry expression featuring a QR code to ‘immerse’ drinkers in the brand.
The limited edition Edinburgh Gin Classic London Dry gin bottling features a QR code, which once scanned with a smartphone will direct drinkers to ‘an immersive, animated exploration of the botanicals’ found in the expression.
The code will take drinkers to a dedicated microsite, which features a guided tasting with head distiller David Wilkinson, as well as a range of gin cocktail recipes.
Edinburgh Gin Classic will be the first bottle in the range to carry the new‐ look label, which will roll out across all UK channels and customers, as well as many international markets, from April. Edinburgh Gin will add the QR codes to other products in its range.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson pledged up to US$1 million to the on‐trade via a new Teremana Tequila campaign.
Between 1 May and 5 May, Johnson will reimburse consumers who visited bars and restaurants, and order guacamole with any Teremana Tequila cocktail, for the dip.
The Guac on The Rock campaign was created to encourage patrons to drink and dine out however they felt most comfortable – indoors or outdoors, or by ordering food and drinks to go – to help support the on‐trade after lockdowns.
Johnson said: “I want to help get people safely back into our restaurants, bars and hotels. This is an industry close to my heart and one that normally gives all of us so much support year‐round.”
Smirnoff vodka has partnered with American comedian Anthony Anderson to give away 2,021 prizes as part of its Summer of 2021 Dreams campaign.
Prizes on offer include summer experiences and trips, including custom‐designed camper vans. Prizes will be awarded throughout the summer via a contest and sweepstakes.
Other prizes on offer include a private flight, yacht experience, and a custom Smirnoff bar.
Jennifer Holiday Hudson, North America brand leader for Smirnoff, said: “Because so many people had to put their plans on hold last year, we really wanted to help bring fun back this summer and safely give people experiences they’ve been dreaming about.”
As part of the campaign, Smirnoff partnered with Anderson (pictured) to star in TV spots that will air nationwide.