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Top marketing moves in May 2022

Summer campaigns, charitable partnerships and an AI influencer made our round-up of top spirits marketing moves from May.

Havana Club Frenna marketing moves
The Havana Club x Frenna collaboration includes a limited edition bottle, a song, music video, and art work

With drinking-in-the-sun-season undoubtedly upon us, brands stepped up to produce campaigns in May, spotlighting their tonics and spirits as the go-to sipper for the summer.

Meanwhile, Canaïma Gin and Cedar Ridge donated to charitable causes, while rum brand Havana Club revealed its exciting collaboration with the one and only rapper Frenna.

Find our pick of 10 major marketing moves from May below – and for more campaigns, check out our round-up from April.

Havana Club releases bottle with rapper Frenna

Havana Club Frenna
The Havana Club x Frenna collaboration includes a limited edition bottle, a song, music video, and art work

Pernod Ricard-owned Havana Club teamed up with Dutch rapper Frenna to release a limited edition bottle as part of a new campaign.

The special-edition Havana Club 7 is being rolled out alongside the brand’s A Toast to the Culture campaign.

Havana Club and Frenna worked with six up-and-coming artists to create the bottle, a song and a video, plus an oil portrait of Frenna inspired by the parallels between Cuba and his Ghanaian heritage. The bottle is available in the Netherlands and Belgium at Gall & Gall, Drankdozijn, and select Belgian shoe stores. Designer Julian Roebling wove Ghanaian cultural symbols into the design.

Fever-Tree has just the tonic

Fever-Tree marketing moves
The radio campaign will be fronted by presenter and journalist

Botanically-brewed mixer Fever-Tree is highlighting the importance of ‘high-quality’ tonic in its new summer campaign.

The brand teamed up with creative agency Motel to roll out its new UK campaign on radio, social media and out-of-home advertising. The campaign is being promoted with the tagline, ‘if ¾ of your drink is the mixer, mix with the best’, with ‘we’d say T&G [tonic and gin]’ in a larger font, to stress the importance of tonic.

Saskia Meyer, UK marketing director, Fever-Tree, said: “The new campaign is an exciting evolution for the brand.

“Our ‘¾ of your drink is the mixer, mix with the best’ line has undoubtedly helped shift consumer perception of mixers, so we are delighted to have brought that to life in a slightly more playful way, with this latest advertising.”

Martin Miller’s starts on art

Zamora Company-owned Martin Miller’s Gin partnered with London-based Start Art Fair to be its official gin sponsor.

The brand will open a branded lounge at the art fair, which will take place from 12 to 16 October 2022 at the Saatchi Gallery. There it will present a selection of gin-based serves. The drinks will be created by global brand bartender Danil Nevsky, inspired by the origins of the brand and the theme of transformation.

The partnership also created the inaugural Martin Miller’s Gin Start Emerging Art Prize 2022, with an aim to support young and emerging artists. Artwork should be submitted on the theme of ‘transformation’.

Cedar Ridge gives away money to foundation

Cedar Ridge

Iowa-based distillery Cedar Ridge is donating a portion of this year’s sales to the We Care for Iowa Foundation, providing financial assistance to members of the Iowa Air And Army National Guard.

The funds raised will go towards the foundation’s Hardship Grants, which financially support people hit by events such as natural disasters, fires and catastrophic losses.

“We know that we can do more than sell Bourbon, which is why we’re thrilled to partner with the Enlisted Association of the National Guard to bring attention to this cause and help servicemen and women who need us in their times of crisis,” said Jamie Siefken, vice-president and general manager for Cedar Ridge.

Cedar Ridge has also released a limited edition bottle of Bourbon to mark the Fourth of July holiday, featuring an exclusive label.

VK Violet is a shoe-in

VK Schuh
The campaign launch will also see the release of limited edition VK Violet

Global Brands-owned VK collaborated with footwear company Schuh to launch a limited edition bottle and competition.

The new bottle, called VK Violet, is available to purchase from UK-based convenience stores.

The roll-out is part of VK’s The Glow Up campaign, which includes a contest offering 10 people the chance to win 12 pairs of shoes from Schuh throughout the year. The retailer’s range includes New Balance and Converse. Participants must enter their details at:

schuhcompetition/ before 31 July.

VK Violet will also display a QR code that takes consumers straight to the competition link online.

No regrets for Caleño Drinks

Non-alcoholic ‘spirits’ brand Caleño Drinks unveiled its summer campaign, launched to sustain the brand’s ‘momentum’ obtained since Dry January.

Caleño’s campaign, Say Yes to a Summer of No Regrets, was created to continue the brand’s growth. In January, Caleño delivered the largest value sales uplift in its category, according to Helium 10 Sales data. The campaign will be rolled out on digital platforms with ‘no regrets challenges’, where followers will be encouraged to participate in activities they usually rely on alcohol, or ‘Dutch courage’, to do.

Ellie Webb, founder of Caleño Drinks, said: “Our exciting and impactful campaign will offer us exposure like we’ve never seen before. This activity will reframe the idea that you need to drink alcohol this summer to have a good time.”

Olmeca Tequila debuts AI influencer

marketing moves

Olmeca Tequila created the industry’s first virtual influencer to target younger legal-drinking-age consumers.

‘Maria Margarita’ exists only on screen, and is a digital persona to fill the role of an influencer for the Pernod Ricard-owned brand. Maria Margarita was created with the intention to drive engagement and brand advocacy among ‘party-starting’ drinkers between the ages of 18 and 28 years old.

Juan Namur, head of digital for House of Tequila at Pernod Ricard, said: “We’ve got big ambitions to accelerate our growth worldwide, and this can only be done through disruption. Leveraging new technology in this pioneering way will help us achieve this.”

The life-like influencer is said to be around 25 years old, and is a Tequila fan with Mexican roots.

Canaïma Gin creates a buzz

Canaïma Gin has donated US$25,000 towards a beekeeping-school project in Venezula.

Speciality Brands Drinks Agency rolled out Canaïma Gin’s campaign, called Bee Kind with The Amazon, to reinforce its commitment to the Amazonian rainforest and extend its support to communities through the protection of bees. Launched to mark World Bee Day (20 May), the brand is financially supporting the creation of a beekeeping school in Venezuela, contributing US$25,000 in 2022. The project is expected to complete in 2023. The school aims to train up to 24 students annually.

Edouard Beaslay, global marketing director for Canaïma Gin, said: “This new global initiative is part of Canaïma Gin’s commitment to protecting its community.”

Italicus and Biltmore launch terrace

marketing moves

Italian aperitivo brand Italicus has collaborated with five-star London hotel The Biltmore to host an outdoor terrace this summer.

Café Biltmore Restaurant & Terrace by Jason Atherton, in Mayfair, will host the outdoor dining space with Italicus.

The Mediterranean-inspired terrace features a black-and-white mosaic floor inspired by the Renaissance period, leafy foliage, and a cocktail bar. It will offer four Italicus serves, created using Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto.

The cocktails include Il Citrus, made with Italicus, reposado Tequila, banana-infused agave, lime juice, and black walnut bitters; and an Italicus Spritz.

Flor de Caña sustainability event runs for second year

Flor de Cana Cocktails

Ultra-premium rum brand Flor de Caña teamed up with bars to launch sustainable cocktails to raise awareness of the importance of reducing food waste.

It is the second time the Fair Trade-certified brand has run its ‘Zero Waste Cocktails’ initiative.

For the 2022 project, Flor de Caña will partner with eco-conscious bars, restaurants and consumers worldwide to create sustainable cocktails. Each serve will include ingredients that have been repurposed, with an aim to eliminate 15 tonnes of food waste. Available until July 2022, the brand will promote the scheme on social media.

In 2021, Zero Waste Cocktails exceeded its target to cut food waste by nine tonnes.

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