Top marketing moves in March 2022By Alice Brooker
Sustainability-focused initiatives, sports sponsorships and on-trade campaigns topped our list of the best spirits marketing strategies from last month.
In March, spirits brands harnessed their creativity to come up with a variety of eye-catching new advertising campaigns.
Patrón Tequila and Scotch brand Glen Moray both ventured into the world of sports, and Pernod Ricard stepped up its sustainability by joining forces with closed-loop distributor Ecospirits.
Hennessy Cognac aligned its brand with both music and art by sponsoring Abbey Road Studios’ Music Photography Awards, while gin producers Four Pillars and Stranger & Sons collaborated on new products.
Find our pick of 10 major marketing moves from March below – and for more campaigns, check out our round-up from February.
Sir Edmond debuts in Croatia
Dutch brand Sir Edmond teamed up with wine and spirits importer Brza Distribucija to launch its gin in Croatia.
Sir Edmond also recently launched in Slovenia through Merit HP. The 40% ABV gin was created in 2016.
Speaking about the Croatian move, Sir Edmond co-founder Dominique Makatita said: “We are thrilled to be present from Zagreb in the north all the way along the irresistible coastline to Dubrovnik in the very south.
“I look forward to working together with the Brza Distribucija team, who combine a lot of experience with true entrepreneurial spirit.”
Brza Distribucija runs two of the leading wine and spirits websites in Croatia, tipsy.hr and wineandmore.com.
Pernod Ricard and Ecospirits close the loop
Pernod Ricard has partnered with spirits distribution system Ecospirits to use closed-loop packaging technology. The partnership is said to be a first of its kind for a global brand portfolio, marking the industry’s wider transition to ‘circular spirits’.
Pernod Ricard brands Absolut Vodka, Beefeater Gin and Havana Club Rum will be presented in co-branded eco-packaging from Ecospirits, known as the Ecotote. The packaging is a machine-washable box with a screw top, and features a QR code for tracking. The brands will be available in this format in up to 80 bars, restaurants and hotels in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Pernod Ricard’s Bar World of Tomorrow programme promotes more sustainable and responsible bar practices through the training of bartenders.
Hennessy gets in the picture with awards
Hennessy Cognac has partnered with recording studio Abbey Road for its Music Photography Awards (MPAs).
The MPAs are the first awards to recognise music photography, and will be judged by industry professionals. One category includes the Hennessy Championing Scenes Award, an open entry contest spotlighting the ‘vibrancy of global subcultures’ and the people documenting these scenes.
Hennessy will award the Championing Scenes winner with a ‘package of support’, including the chance to collaborate on an international project with the brand in 2023.
The winners of all nine MPA categories will be revealed at a ceremony on 14 May 2022.
Tequila races ahead with F1’s Pérez
Tequila brand Patrón has teamed up with Formula One driver Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez to create a short film. Mexican racing driver Pérez features in the one-minute spot, which depicts the ‘bold roads’ he has travelled to get to where he is today.
Kathy Parker, Patrón global president and chief marketing officer, said: “From his incredible career as a trailblazing driver, to his work for his community in Mexico, Checo strives for excellence in everything he does. We are honoured to welcome a fellow Mexican icon to the Patrón familia.”
The spot provides a behind-the-scenes look at Pérez’s life, and presents him travelling from the Jalisco highlands, where Patrón’s Blue Weber agave is hand-picked, to the streets of his home in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Bartenders under the spotlight
Tonic and mixer brand Franklin & Sons has launched a video series to highlight the versatility of cocktails made by bartenders. The six-week campaign kicked off on 28 February.
The series aims to celebrate the on-trade in key English cities. UK venues showcased in the spot are: Club Brass, based in Hotel Gotham in Manchester; Boilermaker, in Nottingham; plus bars based in London, including The Hide Bar.
The videos have been posted on social media and Youtube each week. The first video featured Hotel Gotham’s Brass Bar, in which bar supervisor Mariano Ferrara details how to craft The Merchant of Venice, which combines Prosecco, raspberry liqueur, gin, and strawberry cordial, topped with Franklin & Sons Rhubarb Tonic Water with Hibiscus.
Edinburgh Gin dips into gifts
Ian Macleod Distillers-owned Edinburgh Gin teamed up with bodycare brand Soak Sunday to create a gift set for Mother’s Day.
The limited edition set included a 700ml bottle of Edinburgh Gin’s Rhubarb & Ginger Gin and a bath soak that was created to complement the gin’s botanicals. The gin is made with lemongrass and sweet mulberry, which are combined with natural rhubarb and ginger. The bath soak blends Epsom and pink Himalayan salts with ginger, tart rhubarb and rose. Mother’s Day was on 27 March in the UK.
Tiffany Salmon, brand founder at Soak Sunday, said: “A natural partnership, Soak Sunday curated this bespoke bath soak to perfectly complement Edinburgh Gin’s iconic flavour, the result – a truly indulgent gift set you’ll want to keep for yourself.”
The gift set was priced at £39 (US$51).
Stranger things at Four Pillars
Third Eye Distillery, which owns Stranger & Sons gin, has worked with Four Pillars Gin to create a gin inspired by the latter’s Australian home.
Trading Tides – Coastal Dry Gin draws from the the flavours and botanicals found in Australia. Meanwhile, Four Pillars has created Spice Trade Gin, inspired by Third Eye Distillery’s Indian heritage.
The collaboration is part of Four Pillars’ Distiller Series, which sees the brand collaborate with different distilleries every year.
Trading Tides – Coastal Dry Gin will launch in India, the UK, Thailand and Singapore.
Glen Moray extends rugby sponsorship
Speyside distillery Glen Moray has extended its sponsorship deal with Edinburgh Rugby for two years.
Glen Moray has been the official single malt for the Scottish professional rugby team since the two firms partnered in January 2018. The extended collaboration will coincide with two new initiatives.
The first is a pop-up whisky bar in the fan zone on home match days at the club’s Dam Health Stadium in Edinburgh. The second will see the creation of a Glen Moray and Edinburgh Rugby whisky club, which will allow fans, players and the distillery team to explore the world of single malt whisky, and participate in special tastings and events.
The new initiatives are part of the existing programme of activities.
Tea time for Mozart
Austrian brand Mozart Chocolate Liqueur is tapping into afternoon tea occasions with a new campaign ahead of Easter in the UK. The 360-degree campaign follows the optimisation of Mozart’s brand strategy in the UK.
The brand is aiming to amplify its association with ‘indulgent’ afternoon teas through PR, paid social and influencer touchpoints. Mozart said it would entice consumers this Easter via various online retailers.
As such, to drive conversion in the off-trade, consumers will be able to sample the chocolate-flavoured liqueur at Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and The Whisky Exchange in the run up to Easter.
The Creame team
Irish whiskey brand Redbreast has collaborated with chef Richard Corrigan on a new signature cocktail at his Mayfair venue.
The partnership kicked off with the Whiskey Creame cocktail for St Patrick’s Day in March, which is available at Corrigan’s Mayfair in London until the end of April.
The serve blends Redbreast 12 Years Old with sweet vermouth, cold brew coffee, Shanky’s Whip liqueur and whipped cream. As part of the partnership, Corrigan will use Redbreast 12 in several dishes at his venues.