Glenlivet challenges outdated whisky preconceptionsBy Georgie Pursey
Pernod Ricard-owned The Glenlivet has launched its #BreakTheStereotype campaign to promote diversity and representation in whisky.
The campaign is the first in a series that will see the Speyside-based brand challenge preconceptions that whisky is enjoyed exclusively by ‘middle-aged, white men’ head on.
Miriam Eceolaza, global marketing director for The Glenlivet and single malts at Pernod Ricard, commented: “#BreakTheStereotype continues The Glenlivet’s pioneering heritage and shows that we will never be held back by limiting preconceptions.
“We know there is a diverse range of whisky fans across the globe and that continues to grow – yet the old stereotype surrounding whisky remains. Time for us to change that.”
To challenge this ‘cultural norm’, The Glenlivet is ‘infiltrating’ search engine algorithms and purposefully planting images to change the visual landscape. Now, when searching ‘whisky drinker’ using the Google Images search function, consumers will be greeted with a montage of imagery depicting the ‘diverse’ demographic of whisky drinkers.
The imagery was captured by Ugandan-British photographer Danny Kasirye, and Devyn Galindo, a queer Chicanx artist and photographer based in California, US.
To continue to promote diversity in whisky, The Glenlivet has partnered with Equal Measures, an organisation founded by Deano Moncrieffe, to deliver greater equality for ethnic minorities and marginalised groups in hospitality.
As part of the partnership, The Glenlivet is supporting Equal Measures through its Education and Mentorship Scheme by providing up to 30 participants from marginalised communities with access to qualifications, one-on-one mentorship and opportunities that will enable them to challenge the biases they encounter with a wealth of experience, knowledge, and connections.
“We’re delighted to be announcing our partnership with The Glenlivet for the launch of #BreakTheStereotype, and especially to be working with a company that shares our values, and the vision that became Equal Measures,” said Moncrieffe. “We hope to make the drinks and spirit industry a more welcoming and inclusive place, for not only those who work within bars, but at every level of the drinks industry.”
To further support The Glenlivet’s mission to challenge the outdated stereotype online, whisky drinkers are invited to the #BreakTheStereotype pop-up bar at Coupette in London from 13–19 June.
Guests posting a photo of themselves with a cocktail from the #BreakTheStereotype menu on social media using the hashtag will enjoy a free drink.
The pictures will further infiltrate the algorithm by flooding the internet with images and continuing to reinforce the ‘modern face of whisky’.
A portion of proceeds from each cocktail purchased from the menu, beyond the complimentary drink, will be donated to Equal Measures and will go towards delivering greater equality for ethnic minorities and marginalised groups in hospitality.
“It’s critical that we do our part to better represent today’s whisky drinker and our partnership with Equal Measures will help accelerate change for the better. #BreakTheStereotype celebrates The Glenlivet’s passion for challenging conventions and continues the innovative and original thinking of our founder, George Smith,” Eceolaza concluded.
In March this year, Johnnie Walker partnered with Equal Measures to support marginalised groups in the on-trade.