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Top 10 marketing moves in September 2022

Distribution deals, brand revamps and a book launch were among our round-up of September’s top marketing pushes.

Italicus teamed up with Stranger & Stranger to publish The Art of Italicus

From a book on the history of Rosolio to providing the consumers with the opportunity to design their own rum bottles, spirits brands stepped up to the marketing plate in September.

Mixer brand Three Cents and Ukrainian vodka Nemiroff attempted to expand their presence with distributions deals at the beginning of this season, while VK took to revamping its range in order to attract a Gen Z audience.

Hard seltzer brand White Claw followed a similar path to VK, partnering with a number of music and club venues across the UK to double its late-night footprint.

Keep scrolling for 10 highlights of the latest advertising in the spirits sector last month.

For more marketing moves, take a look at our top marketing picks from August.

Cut-price aperitvo comes to UK


Bella Apertini gained a nationwide listing with UK supermarket Tesco, and online distribution through Amazon.

The aperitivo brand has also gained listings in wholesalers including Molson Coors, HB Clark, Inverarity Morton, and Dunns Food & Drinks.

It is produced by UK-based Intercontinental Brands.

The bottling is considered a ‘budget-friendly’ version of popular Spritz options, such as Aperol.

The liquid is offered in a 700ml bottle, and clocks in at 11% ABV. Consumers can purchase Bella Apertini for £6.99 (US$8.09).

Made with bitter, sweet orange and herbal flavours, it is recommended mixed with soda and Prosecco to create a Spritz.

Nemiroff boosts presence in Europe


Ukrainian vodka brand Nemiroff signed a distribution deal with spirits importer Disaronno International.

Disaronno will represent the brand in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, with an aim to strengthen the brand’s distribution and awareness in Europe.

“We are proud to add Nemiroff vodka to our growing portfolio of craft and luxury brands. Disaronno has a mission to distribute and sell high-quality, hand-selected spirits from around the world,” said Disaronno International executive director Bert de Winter.

“Nemiroff has a strong, unique brand image and award-winning taste. It is a perfect match to expand our portfolio.”

Disaronno distributes Italian liqueur Disaronno, coffee liqueur Tia Maria, and Busker Irish Whiskey.

Lost Explorer branches out


The Lost Explorer Mezcal partnered with London private member’s club Annabel’s to launch a bottle that will raise funds for the Amazon rainforest.

The collaboration sees the release of 1,000 limited-edition bottles of The Explorer Mezcal, with proceeds to be donated to The Caring Family Foundation’s rainforest-saving commitments.

CEO Tanya Clarke said: “At The Lost Explorer Mezcal, we are proud to partner with Annabel’s in contributing to The Caring Family Foundation’s goal of planting one million trees in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest by March 2024.

‘Being part of this partnership is incredibly rewarding because of the awareness it inspires for this critical issue.”

The bottles are available at Selfridges, Hedonism Wines, and The Whisky Shop priced at RRP £120 (US$138.40).

Three Cents new UK distribution deal


Greek producer Three Cents partnered with Cask Liquid Marketing to distribute its mixers in the UK.

Three Cents was founded in 2014 by a group of bartenders in search of the perfect cocktail mixer.

The brand’s mixers are carbonated at maximum pressure and with a lower temperature to produce ‘more bubbly sodas’.

The distribution deal came into force in August.

Co-founder George Bagos said: “We are delighted to work with Cask Liquid Marketing, a company that shares the same passion and philosophy as Three Cents.

“We have been experiencing a strong and continuous growth in the UK for the past few years, and this new partnership will provide the brand increased support to sustain its development and achieve our ambitions.”

Italicus books a Stranger venture

Italian brand Italicus collaborated with the packaging-and-design agency Stranger and Stranger to publish a book, called Art of Italicus.

The book is a ‘love letter’ to Italicus’s first five years, and is described as the ‘perfect gift’ for lovers of cocktails, art and mixology.

It details the brand’s beginning with Giuseppe Gallo, founder of Italicus, and his desire to bring back the forgotten category of Rosolio.

“Art of Italicus captures the inspiration behind Giuseppe’s vision, the brilliance of the liquid and the creative excellence that lies behind the standout design,” said Rowan Miller, creative director at Stranger and Stranger.

“It encapsulates the true essence of the brand and the phenomenal journey it has been on from inception to the present day.”

For more cocktail books published this season, check out our round-up of reading material on all things spirits and serves.

White Claw hits UK clubs


White Claw planned to double its late-night on-trade footprint with a forthcoming tour of the UK’s clubs.

The hard seltzer brand has secured a number of partnerships, which kicked off in September, targeting music and club venues in the UK.

Michael Dean, head of marketing at White Claw, said: “White Claw is not just a category that lives in summer; more and more we are seeing the demand in the winter months, which is when UK clubbing culture comes into its own.”

The partnership includes a branded bar to be set up at the events, featuring a mural, along with 360-rotation menus and counter fridges.

The campaign kicked off with Manchester-based club series The Warehouse Project.

Mataroa Gin signs up Themis Zouganeli

Greek brand Mataroa Mediterranean Dry Gin collaborated with Greek-Polish designer Themis Zouganeli (pictured) to create a limited edition bottle.

The partnership is intended to be the brand’s ‘first of many’ with the designer, with Zouganeli having created a white, blue and gold bottle, with an exterior inspired by the heritage of Greek clothing.

It also features a ‘striking white’ to resemble the Greek islands. Distilled and bottled in Greece, Mataroa Gin uses ingredients from the countries of the Mediterranean.

It is made at the Melissanidi Distillery using a secret recipe of 12 botanicals, herbs and spices. Raised in Athens and Mykonos, Zouganeli has collaborated with brands such as Dior and Swarovski.

VK undergoes brand refresh to lure Gen Z

Global Brands revamped VK’s packaging to attract its core Gen Z audience.

VK has been given a new look to align with the company’s ‘relevant, playful and cool’ branding. An identity has been created for each flavoured variant of VK, featuring colourful labels.

Plus, VK is launching its biggest mass- awareness campaign for new university students in the UK, which kicked off in August and runs into this month.

The campaign is aiming to hit 27 million impressions over the next month, reaching drinkers in eight different consumer touchpoints.

The VK Glow Up Fresher’s Tour will take place on 50 dates, featuring UV effects and merchandise giveaways across UK cities.

Havana Club has designs on rum

Pernod Ricard-owned Havana Club launched a digital platform to allow consumers to design their own rum bottles.

Havana Club Create has been described as a ‘digital solution’ to give drinkers 81 possible combinations to design front and back labels of Havana Club 7, with the option of adding a personal message to the bottle.

Three distinct ‘visual universes’ are available to choose from for the designs, which take inspiration from symbols of Cuban tradition.

These include ‘graphic scenes’, ‘neon waves’ and ‘blooming walls’.

Once the digital artwork has been completed, consumers can download the creation for free and share their designs on social media networks. In China, consumers will be able to exclusively purchase the bottle they have designed through Wechat.

Patrón honours Hispanics


Bacardi-owned Patrón Tequila collaborated with acclaimed sculptor Sebastián to produce a limited edition tin in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Tequila brand and Mexico City-based artist unveiled the 2022 limited edition Patrón Mexican Heritage Tin last month.

“Celebrating Mexican culture and creative perfection, this collaboration carries on Patrón Tequila’s legacy of aligning with progressive pioneers who share the values of passion, drive, and dedication to hard work,” said Kathy Parker, president and global chief marketing officer for Patrón Tequila.

The tin is released annually, and previous collaborators include Mexican artist Adrian Dominguez.

The tin retails for RRP US$59.99, and includes a bottle of Patrón Silver.

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