Top 10 marketing moves in August 2022By Alice Brooker
From a sidecar bar to a Schitt’s Creek star, spirits marketing in August was packed with a variety of partnerships and campaigns.
While single malt brand Smokehead attached a mobile bar to a motorbike to tour the UK and Europe, other brands were also delving into imaginative marketing moves for spirits products.
Tito’s vodka unveiled a limited edition empty refillable can (yes, really), Smokehead launched a sci-fi graphic novel, and Schitt’s Creek fans rejoiced after drinks group Rémy Cointreau partnered with Dan Levy to produce a digital series.
To uncover the best of the latest advertising in the world of spirits, check out our round up of the 10 best initiatives to launch last month.
For more marketing moves, take a look at our top marketing picks from July.
Patrón party promotes Palomas
The end of Patrón Paloma Month was marked with a party at Glasgow-based cocktail bar and brasserie Kelvingrove Café.
The Paloma Playlist Party was held on 25 August, where guests enjoyed a menu of five Tequila-based Paloma serves.
Lauren Doherty, of Patrón, said: “Leading the celebrations for Patrón Paloma Month, we’re excited to partner with Kelvingrove Café to offer a new way to celebrate Mexico’s national cocktail.
“The Paloma is definitely enjoying its moment right now in the UK with a 54% increase in popularity this past year alone.”
Patrón Paloma Month ran until the end of August at Kelvingrove Café, located in Argyle Street in Glasgow, Scotland.
Smokehead revs up for tour
Ian Macleod Distillers-owned single malt brand Smokehead created a mobile bar attached to a Ducati motorbike that will tour the UK and Europe.
The fully-stocked bar, named The Smoker Sidebar, made an appearance at the Smoke and Fire Festival in Colchester, UK, in August.
The custom-built sidecar bar was created in collaboration with global bike customising sensation Tyler Lunceford.
Iain Weir, Smokehead brand director, said: “The success of The Smoker motorbike didn’t take us by surprise; we knew it was what our Smokeheads wanted. Working with Tyler is an incredible experience, he gets the brand and he gets motorbikes. Introducing The Smoker Sidebar is exactly what the summer of 2022 needs.”
Captain Morgan spices up its campaign
Spiced rum brand Captain Morgan unveiled the first instalment of its Spice On marketing campaign, voiced by British rapper Big Zuu.
The campaign was launched to celebrate the ‘power of people being themselves’, and will run on social, digital, and TV platforms.
Bafta-winning presenter, musician and chef Zuhair Hassan, known professionally as Big Zuu, voices the 20-second spot.
Samori Gambrah, global brand director for Captain Morgan, said: “Spice is what makes Captain Morgan delicious, and in our new global positioning we’re shifting the focus to ‘spice’ as a collective ‘you do you’ attitude.”
In the video, groups of friends are seen bringing ‘individuality and bold tastes to life’ as they concoct drinks, including a Captain Morgan and cola ice cream float.
Tito’s fills void in hard seltzer market
Texas-based Tito’s Handmade Vodka created a limited edition empty refillable can to allow drinkers to make their own hard seltzers.
The 473ml, double-steel-walled, insulated, refillable can is said to be the brand’s ‘innovative answer’ to the ‘never-ending flood of seltzers and canned cocktails’ being introduced to the market.
Taylor Berry, vice-president of brand marketing at Tito’s Handmade Vodka, said: “We developed Tito’s in a Can so Tito’s drinkers can make their own, better-quality seltzers, ones that are fresh, and are as strong or carbonated or citrusy as they want.”
A 30-second campaign video was released to coincide with the launch.
Tito’s in a Can can be purchased online at www.titosinacan.com, or at the Love, Tito’s retail store in Austin, Texas.
Each can retails for US$20, with all net proceeds going to the customer’s choice of five nonprofits that the brand has teamed up with.
Jinro points to building UK success
The world’s biggest-selling spirit brand, Korean soju Jinro, took an exciting marketing step after being named the sponsor of London’s All Points East festival.
The move marked the first time a Korean spirit has supported a major UK festival.
The sponsorship is part of Jinro’s ongoing investment in the UK in a bid to increase its distribution and awareness.
Held from 19 to 28 August, Luno presents All Points East played host to Jinro’s two-floor bar, which was themed on a giant case of Jinro.
The activation included a neon bar, a ‘Polaroid zone’, purpose-built spaces to ‘freshen up’, and prize-led activities based on traditional Korean games.
The brand aims to secure listings in major retailers across the UK.
Mijenta reaches milestone
Mijenta, founded by ex-Bacardi CEO Mike Dolan, became the first Tequila brand to receive B Corp certification.
Nonprofit organisation B Lab accredits companies with B Corp certification after they meet or exceed the B Impact Assessment criteria, which measures a firm’s social impact in categories.
These requirements include corporate governance, the environment, community, employees, and customers.
Launched in September 2020, Mijenta’s products are all carbon neutral because the company offsets almost 720,000kg of carbon dioxide through its partnership with Climate Partner.
The collaboration with Climate Partner has supported cloud forest protection and local community support in Chiapas, Mexico, and has helped to provide clean wind energy for communities in Brazil.
We caught up with the brand’s founder, Mike Dolan, to find out more about Mijenta’s latest achievement.
Ardbeg novel draws interest
Islay single malt brand Ardbeg partnered with three artists to create its first sci-fi graphic novel, called Planet Ardbeg.
The 40-page sci-fi novel was inspired by the flavours and ‘origin stories’ of three of the brand’s whiskies – Ardbeg 10 Years Old, Ardbeg An Oa, and Ardbeg Wee Beastie.
Planet Ardbeg was conceived by New York cartoonist Ronald Wimberly, alongside artists Emma Ríos and Sanford Greene.
The limited edition novel is available to buy from the distillery’s visitor centre, select comic book shops, and online at ardbeg.com in certain markets.
A free digital version is available exclusively for members of the Ardbeg Committee.
The brand will also debut a Planet Ardbeg campaign in the UK in October 2022.
Elephant Gin Foundation will help wildlife
The Elephant Gin Foundation was established as a nonprofit organisation that will work to help protect African wildlife.
Since the brand’s launch in 2013, 15% of bottle profits have been donated to the endangered African elephant.
To date, €1 million (US$1m) has been raised through the initiative. Headquartered in London, the Elephant Gin Foundation will be responsible for managing the distribution of funds, and working to preserve elephant habitats.
Elephant Gin co-founder Tessa Gerlach said: “If we want future generations to continue to experience African nature and its wild animals, then we as a society urgently need to take responsibility.”
Hornitos on song with competition
Tequila brand Hornitos teamed up with music discovery site Pigeons & Planes to launch an original song competition.
The Take Your Shot programme was launched in partnership with online platform for up-and-coming artists Pigeons & Planes, offering musicians the chance to submit a song to be spotlighted on the site and receive one-on-one mentorship.
The collaboration aimed to encourage original music entries that deliver individuality and storytelling that represents the contestant ‘as an artist and creative’.
The competition, which closed on 15 August, was open to US-based musicians aged 21 and over.
Judging is based on originality (30%), energy (30%) and authenticity (40%).
The winner secured a trip to New York City to participate in an in-studio interview with Pigeons & Planes.
Rémy Cointreau pairs with Levy
French drinks group Rémy Cointreau partnered with Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy to produce a digital series on creating Margaritas.
Levy and chefs Nyesha Arrington and Sohia El-Waylly are presenting their favourite variations of the Margarita in a three-part series.
In each episode, Levy presents a Margarita recipe, alongside one of the chefs.
He said: “Cointreau is the key ingredient in my favourite cocktails – an ice-cold Margarita and a Cosmo on the rocks in a tumbler. So, when Cointreau approached me, it was kind of fated.”
The series is being aired on Entertainment Weekly’s and the Food & Wine’s online channels in the US.
Ian McLernon, president and CEO at Rémy Cointreau Americas, said: “Dan is such a natural fit with our brand, and we know our audience will love what he brings to the table this summer and beyond.”