Top 10 marketing moves from September
From immersive pop-ups in Seoul to visual art and cocktail campaigns across Europe, marketing moves in September saw spirits brands at their globetrotting best in an effort to get all eyes on their products.
One Tequila brand got in touch with its Mexican roots for a short film campaign paying tribute to the region, while a mezcal brand joined with one of London’s most exclusive private members’ clubs in aid of the Amazon.
Meanwhile, one brand’s special anniversary packaging came about through a designer collaboration, and another entered uncharted territory by opening up its first store outside of the US.
Read on to find out the top 10 marketing moves in September.
And for the previous round-up, these were our top 10 marketing moves in August.
Absolut launches pop-up in South Korea
Vodka brand Absolut has opened an immersive pop-up in Seoul, South Korea, together with multi-disciplinary creative studio Sticky Monster Lab.
Miguel Pascual, managing director of Pernod Ricard Korea, said the popup is “designed to allow guests to enjoy different people, cultures, and experiences coming together through Absolut”. Guests can interact with exclusive Sticky Monster characters, inspired by Absolut cocktails, as well as enjoy sensory experiences.
“We feel honoured to collaborate with Absolut, which has long stood behind its love of art through high-quality designs in its branding, bottle design, and other marketing,” said Sticky Monster Lab’s manager, Kang Inae.
Bombay Sapphire books The Hoxton
Bacardi-owned Bombay Sapphire has partnered with The Hoxton’s European hotels for the next stage of its Saw This, Made This campaign.
The campaign sees a series of visual art installations and limited edition cocktails take over Hoxton bars and galleries, located in Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Paris and Rome. The installations are described as ‘locally flavoured’, each nodding to the city they are housed in.
The cocktails do the same, with serves such as the Colosseum Shadow, created by the bartenders from The Hoxton, Rome, made using vines sourced from close to the nearby landmark.
Desolas says howdy to Texas
Mezcal brand Desolas has signed a distribution deal with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in Texas, US. As part of the deal, the mezcal can be bought at the state’s largest liquor retailer, Spec’s.
GG Mirvis, Desolas founder and CEO, said Texas was the ”next natural step’’ for the brand as it explored new markets, and that since it launched in 2020, the company has been focused on ”growing the brand methodically’’. Of the partnership, he said: ”We are so excited to work with Southern Glazer’s to establish a presence in Texas and continue the brand’s growth.”
Desolas Mezcal is handcrafted from a Salmiana agave plant grown in San Luis Potosí in Mexico, and is described as having a smooth and balanced flavour with notes of citrus, black pepper and an elegant vanilla finish.
Italicus celebrates birthday in style
Italian aperitivo Italicus has partnered with fellow Italian brand Pininfarina to design bespoke packaging to mark its seventh anniversary.
Named Arco Italicus, the design stays true to Italy’s architectural history, drawing inspiration from the arch (‘arco’ in Italian), which is recognised as an important symbol in Italian architecture. The packaging forms the structure around Italicus’ classic aquamarine-toned glass bottle, while the outer finish is crafted from recycled materials, and the base portrays the shape of bergamot – Italicus’ signature ingredient.
Italicus founder Giuseppe Gallo said: “Pininfarina is a global icon of Italian style that embodies elegance, purity, and innovation – a characteristic that has always fascinated me. Therefore, choosing this brand as our project partner was a streamlined decision.” Arco Italicus will launch in early 2024.
Don Julio highlights Mexican heritage
Diageo-owned Don Julio Tequila has unveiled a short film for its Por Amor-campaign, designed to bring Mexico ‘to a global stage’. The spot, A Love Letter to Mexico, was filmed in Mexico, and produced with the help of creatives that shared their visions of the region.
“The brand’s explosive growth in the US has been a result of sharing our Tequila that was created out of love for craft, and this campaign is setting the stage for our next chapter,” said Christina Choi, Diageo North America’s senior vice-president of Tequila.
“We are once again defining what it means to be at the forefront of the category by partnering with Mexican creatives who demonstrate the same unparalleled drive to live Por Amor.”
The campaign has launched in Canada, the US, and Mexico.
The Lost Explorer Mezcal supports the Amazon
Mezcal brand The Lost Explorer linked up with Annabel’s for the second year running, as part of the private members’ club’s campaign to save the Amazon rainforest.
For the duration of September, guests of the club were able to enjoy three serves made with the spirit. For each cocktail sold, 2.5 trees were planted.
The Lost Explorer Mezcal CEO Tanya Clarke said: “Our goal is to support, once more, the Annabel’s for Amazon campaign, which has created such a positive impact in our inaugural year together.”
Since its inception four years ago, the Annabel’s for the Amazon campaign has resulted in the planting of 1.75 million trees. The goal is to plant two million by March 2024.
Creamy Creation expands North America access for craft distillers
B2B developer and manufacturer of cream liqueurs Creamy Creation has agreed a tote distribution deal in North America through its partnership with Black Button Distilling.
The move aims to make cream liqueurs ‘more accessible’ to craft distillers. Creamy Creation customers can now purchase cream liqueur concentrate totes directly from Black Button’s The Strategic Sourcing Hub, which will be the main point of contact.
The Strategic Sourcing Hub will receive and process orders, ship the totes, and collect payment. The liquid from Creamy Creation will remain the same. The partnership began on 1 September.
Buffalo Trace has something special in store
Sazerac-owned Buffalo Trace Distillery will open a store in London’s Covent Garden this December, the brand’s first outside of the US.
Buffalo Trace’s new CEO, Jake Wenz, said: “Buffalo Trace Distillery London is the first home for our American whiskeys outside of Kentucky, US, and we are honoured to put down roots in the United Kingdom.
“Many spirits consumers are more familiar with Bourbon’s global whiskey counterparts, and Buffalo Trace Distillery London aims to offer a space to learn more about – and hopefully, fall in love with – our Bourbon whiskey.”
As well as selling the brand’s signature whiskeys, the store, which will cover 186-square-metres of space, will also offer two tasting experiences.
Langley’s Gin lands in Turkey
English brand Langley’s Gin’s profile is continuing to rise, with distributor Charter Brands striking a deal with Future Wine and Spirits that will see the gin arrive in Turkey.
“With gin ranking as the fourth-largest spirits category in Turkey, and demonstrating impressive performance last year, we’re very optimistic about Langley’s possibilities in the market’’, said Arkaitz Giménez, sales director at Charter Brands.
Future Wine and Spirits’ general manager, Temel Bacınoğlu, added: “While there are many emerging brands, only a few stand out with unique characteristics. We believe Langley’s Gin is distinct, offering a unique taste profile across its range.”
Mataroa leans on lavender
Greek brand Mataroa Mediterranean Dry Gin has teamed up with co-owner of Athens’ The Bar in Front of the Bar, and founder of Bart, a consulting agency for bars, Konstantinos Theodorakopoulos, to create a signature cocktail based on lavender.
The plant is one of Theodorakopoulos’ favourite ingredients. When asked about his idea of the perfect cocktail, he said that each cocktail “fits in particular circumstances” and that “perfection is difficult to achieve”.
Named Loving Lavender, the serve boasts a sweet, smoky aroma, and a floral, minty taste. It consists of Mataroa Mediterranean Dry Gin, lime juice and lavender cordial, the latter of which is made by cooking the ingredients – water, organic pomegranate juice, sugar, lavender, pistachio paste, and citric acid – using the sous vide method at 55°C for three hours.
The cocktail also found its way onto our October recipe roundup.