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Top 10 marketing moves in February 2023

From a photography exhibition to a ‘barcumentary’ series, spirits brands pushed the marketing boat out to get their bottlings in the spotlight in February.

The Blend by Beam Suntory marketing
The Blend by Beam Suntory is a photography exhibition in tribute to the bartender profession

February was a month packed with exciting marketing steps, from gin brand Tanqueray’s global campaign encouraging its drinkers to ‘seize the day’, to Highland producer Glengoyne teaming up with a charity to offer volunteers a free bottle of Glengoyne 15-year-old whisky.

Plus, Dutch gin brand Sir Edmond continued to spread its reach in Europe, while Amber Beverage revealed it would continue to sponsor the Ukrainian men’s national basketball team in 2023.

For more news on brand collaborations, partnerships and marketing campaigns, check out our round-up for January 2023.

Sir Edmond’s French connection

Sir Edmond marketing

Dutch brand Sir Edmond Gin has expanded its global reach after launching in France with spirits importer Union Commerciale des Vins de France (UCVF).

Now available in France for the first time, Sir Edmond Gin will be offered in the on-trade and off-trade in the country.

Joris van Gent, managing director of UCVF, said: “We are excited to join forces with Sir Edmond Gin, with its historic French connection, and bring something special to the world of spirits that will leave a lasting impression.”

The brand has also revealed that “exciting overseas collaborations” will be coming up, including in India, Colombia and Indonesia.

Ferrand marks Year of the Rabbit

Ferrand Cognac Chinese New Year marketing

Maison Ferrand marked Chinese New Year with a limited edition Premier Cru 10 Générations Cognac.

Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit, the Ferrand 10 Générations Port Cask is a tribute to 10 generations of the Ferrand family. The liquid is bottled at 44% ABV, and has been packaged in a red and gold-detailed bottle. It has been double matured – first aged in French oak barrels, then in Port barrels. Its aroma starts with a pastry profile, with vanilla, caramel, almond, apricot and coconut, evolving to rose, orange blossom and nutmeg.

Each 750ml bottle has an RRP of £43.95 (US$54), and is available to purchase from Master of Malt.

Amber helps Ukraine sport bounce back

Luxembourg-based Amber Beverage Group will continue to sponsor the Ukrainian men’s national basketball team throughout 2023.

The basketball team is soon to take part in the final qualifying matches of the International Basketball Federation World Cup 2023 with a view to enter the finals of the tournament.

Ainārs Bagatskis, head coach of the Ukrainian men’s national basketball team, said: “The past year has been very difficult for the Ukrainian national team, as it has been for all Ukrainians. Without the support of Amber Beverage we would not have been able to perform well at the European Championship.”

Amber Beverage Group has donated more than €550,000 (US$587,000) to support the people of Ukraine.

Glengoyne offers bottles to volunteers

Highland producer Glengoyne has teamed up with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) to encourage volunteers for the wetland-conservation charity.

In exchange for volunteering, drinkers will receive a free bottle of Glengoyne 15-year-old whisky and an invite to the distillery for an in-depth tour. The WWT is Glengoyne’s charity partner.

Katy Muggeridge, brand director at Ian Macleod Distillers, owner of Glengoyne, said: “The environment is at the heart of everything we do, and our 11-year partnership with WWT is testament to this. By donating just one day of your time to WWT, whisky fans will be able to help protect carbon-capturing wetlands, aid the conservation of migratory geese, and take home a bottle of this excellent new dram.”

Those selected by Glengoyne for volunteer work will carry out wetlands-sustaining activity at one of WWT’s UK sites.

Mataroa has the last word with new cocktail

Greek brand Mataroa Mediterranean Dry Gin has teamed up with bartender Markos Horattides, founder of Last Word Bar in Limassol, Cyprus, to create a signature cocktail.

He has created signature cocktail the Mediterranean Gimlet, which showcases the ‘delicate and distinct’ botanicals of the Mataroa blend, and uses camomile as a key ingredient.

The cocktail is made up of Mataroa Mediterranean Dry Gin, camomile kombucha cordial, and is garnished with an olive stone. The cordial is made using local camomile, which is cold-brewed into tea then fermented to add acidity.

The cordial is stirred to enhance the Cyprus camomile. Horattides said that the perfect cocktail includes a “selected base spirit and locally harvested produce”, and always keeping sustainability in mind. Mataroa Gin is distilled and bottled in Greece.

US women vie to be speed queen

Bacardi-owned Patrón Tequila has partnered with all-female bartending competition Speed Rack for its 11th season, heading to cities across the US and Mexico.

Season 11 kicked off in late 2022 in Atlanta and Mexico City, followed by Chicago and Denver in 2023. The competition will continue in San Diego on 21 March and New York on 3 April, before culminating in the final in New Orleans on 23 July, during the Tales of the Cocktail festival. The competition has expanded to include womxn+ bartenders.

Lauren Mote, global director of on-trade excellence for Patrón, said: “Representing and empowering those womxn+ who strive to have opportunities and a stage to showcase their talent and determination is something we feel strongly about.”

The competition has raised more than US$1.5 million to support women-based charities since its launch.

Three Cents focuses on bartenders

Tonic and mixer brand Three Cents has debuted a ‘barcumentary’ series, a number of documentary-style episodes exploring bartenders’ perspectives on bar culture in their home cities.

Through the marketing project, called Bar Attitude by Three Cents, the brand aims to give a voice to its own heroes: the bartenders who experiment, envision, pioneer, and develop the bar culture of their city each day. The first bartender to feature in the series is Niko Bakoulis, co-owner of The Clumsies and Line Athens. The episode was shot in Greece.

In the episode, Bakoulis talks about his story, his favourite bars in Athens, and how his upbringing shaped his way of thinking.

More bartenders and destinations are to follow in the coming episodes.

Langley’s joins B list

Langley's Gin

British producer Langley’s has received B-Corp certification from B Lab, as it aims to become the ‘most responsible, accessible gin brand’ in the market.

The certificate makes Langley’s part of a community of 5,575 businesses globally who have been given the B Corp accreditation; including English gin producer Warner’s Distillery and Diageo-owned Baileys liqueur.

Matt Ashton-Melia, director at Charter Brands, said the brand has been “working relentlessly” towards this in recent years.

“We’ve been focused on implementing a series of positive changes to our business, which have enabled us to become one of the most responsible gin brands in the market, while remaining a commercially attractive proposition,” he added.

Langley’s uses a 60%-post-consumer recycled (PCR) glass bottle, along with 100% recycled labels and outer cases. The company is also a member of 1% for the Planet, meaning 1% of its annual revenue is donated to environmental causes.

Beam Suntory blends in

The Blend by Beam Suntory

Maker’s Mark owner Beam Suntory unveiled a photography exhibition via its trade-advocacy programme to mark World Bartender Day on 24 February.

Beam Suntory’s global trade engagement platform, The Blend, launched the global marketing campaign to honour the talent, creativity and skill at the heart of the bartending profession, and encourage consumers to reflect on and celebrate the role bartenders play in their lives.

Launched in collaboration with photographer Jennifer McCord, the ‘intimate’ collection will live in a digital exhibition on, before touring the UK, the US, Germany, India and Australia in a series of one-of-a-kind exhibitions later this year. The marketing campaign will raise money for the drinks industry.

Tanqueray’s call to seize joy

Tanqueray marketing

Diageo-owned gin brand Tanqueray has launched a global campaign called Let’s Live Magnificently, encouraging consumers to seize the day.

The series of 10-, 20- and 30-second TV and digital ads make up the brand’s first global marketing brand campaign since 2018. The Let’s Live Magnificently marketing campaign aims to capture the ‘joy in seizing the everyday moment’, with images of rooftop drinks with friends, an apéritif before dinner or sunset drinks on the beach.

Nitesh Chhapru, global brand director of Tanqueray, said: “At the heart of the campaign is a simple idea that we all have the choice to turn any moment into something special with just a bit of inspiration and imagination; as we believe life is best served magnificently over a Tanqueray and tonic.”

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