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Top 10 marketing moves from November

From celebrity cameos to cocktail collaborations and bold out-of-home campaigns, November can be chalked up as another strong month for spirits brands’ marketing efforts.

Kahlúa partners with Salma Hayek
November was a celebrity-heavy month, with Salma Hayek one of the famous faces to front an ad

Harry Potter actor Emma Watson designed artwork on a limited release of bottles for her gin brand, Renais, while Paris Hilton and Salma Hayek both fronted playful adverts for two major brands.

Outside of the stars, one brand launched a campaign centred around creativity, while another designed edible art and cocktail pairings.

Keep reading to find out the top 10 marketing moves in November.

And for previous marketing round-ups, check out our top 10 lists from October and September.

Emma Watson designs limited release Renais bottles

Renais gin

Actor Emma Watson designed the artwork on limited edition bottles released by her gin brand, Renais.

Named the Artwork Edition, the packaging was designed, painted and inscribed by Watson, and also comes with stickers of her illustrations.

It retails for £60 (US$75) on the Renais website, and limited numbers are available.

Watson founded the gin with her brother, Alex Watson. Additionally, the brand has released two gift sets for Christmas.

Actor Cillian Murphy voices Jameson campaign


Pernod Ricard-owned Jameson Irish Whiskey launched a global marketing campaign narrated by actor Cillian Murphy.

Called Must be a Jameson, the advert is centred around a character called Jose, who has a knack of turning bad days into positive ones. The concept behind the campaign is to connect like-minded people who embody the brand’s attributes: ‘always welcoming’ and ‘forever smooth’.

Johan Radojewski, Jameson’s vice­-president of marketing, said: “Jameson is a serious whiskey that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and this new campaign is our light­hearted take on connecting people through their shared outlook on life.”

Hennessy celebrates Lunar New Year

marketing moves

Cognac brand Hennessy released a limited edition bottle collection designed by Chinese artist Yang Yongliang, in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

To mark the Year of the Dragon, Yongliang’s Dragon’s Odyssey artwork will be seen on bottles of Hennessy’s three Cognac expressions: VSOP, XO and Paradis.

Laurent Boillot, Hennessy’s CEO, said: “Hennessy has a deep connection with Chinese culture, as we have 163 years of shared history.”

The limited­ edition bottles are available in the UK exclusively from the Hennessy Boutique at Harrods, with RRPs of £7,745 (US$9,662) for Paradis, £201 for XO, and £65 for VSOP.

Highclere has a gift for Xmas


Highclere Castle Gin has created a Christmas hamper in collaboration with London department store Fortnum & Mason.

Inside the hamper, buyers will find a 700ml bottle of Highclere Gin, a copy of co­-founder Lady Carnarvon’s book, Seasons at Highclere, and food and drink such as tea bags and biscuits from Fortnum & Mason. The hamper will be available from the retailer’s flagship shop in Piccadilly for £223.65 (US$275).

Highclere says it is bringing together two British brands known for “tradition, refinement and a commitment to quality”.

Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle said: “We are thrilled to be working with Fortnum & Mason to bring a piece of the castle’s history and the magic of Christmas to homes around the world. We believe the combination of our gin and my book will make for a truly splendid gift.”

Olly Alexander and Absolut are on song

Absolut partners with Olly Alexander

As part of its Born to Mix campaign, Absolut Vodka has collaborated with Years & Years singer Olly Alexander on a limited  edition bottle.

The bottle’s blue-­and-­pink design is reminiscent of a mosaic, which Alexander says was a “nice way to illustrate how we are all unique but, when we mix together, we have the power to create something beautiful”.

Liam Murphy, brand director at Pernod Ricard UK, said: “As a brand, we couldn’t wish for a better spokesperson for this campaign, and we know his fans here in the UK will be rushing to get their hands on a piece of personalised, collectable merch from Olly himself.”

A one-­litre version of Absolut Mosaik is available on Amazon, while a 700ml bottle can be picked up at department store chain Harvey Nichols.

Hayek causes stir with Kahlúa

Kahlúa partners with Salma Hayek

Coffee liqueur brand Kahlúa enlisted actress Salma Hayek Pinault to star in its Stir Up marketing campaign, a series of video spots that encourage people to change their usual drinking habits for Kahlúa.

The advert, created by director Rodrigo Valdes, shows Hayek crashing a dinner party, in a scene similar to the melodrama of Latin America telenovelas, where the group ditch wine for Kahlúa­-based creations to liven up their Friday night.

The campaign intends to position Kahlúa as a different and lively alternative when drinking at home. Craig van Niekerk, global vice-­president of marketing for Malibu and Kahlúa, said: “Rather than run away from a sense of being ‘too much’ for the everyday, we’re embracing it.”

London Essence is feeling fresh

The London Essence Co debuted an advertising campaign that looked to bring a fresh perspective to the mixer category.

Called London Distilled, the campaign centres around ‘tastemakers’ – who London Essence refer to as characters that inspire in metropolitan cities – that reflect the brand’s creative process and heritage.

Ounal Baily, co-­founder of The London Essence Co, said: “We are born in London, and are proud of the creativity that is fostered not only in our home city, but cities around the world. Our campaign captures the tastemakers of London, both in our creative and in our partnerships, they inspire us and our audience.”

The campaign can be seen through social media, strategic media partnerships and out-of-­home adverts in major UK cities during December. Its placement in key travel routes will make it visible to commuters over the festive season.

Bombay Sapphire pairs edible art with cocktails

Bombay Sapphire edible art

Gin brand Bombay Sapphire called upon bars in the UK to design edible art and cocktail pairings for the latest segment of its Saw This, Made This campaign.

The participating bars – London’s Blue Bar at The Berkeley, Ester, The Bar Below at Hide, and Sager + Wilde on Paradise Row, as well as Exhibition in Manchester, and Hey Palu in Edinburgh – each created a bespoke cocktail that was complemented by an edible gin-­infused artistic jelly cube.

Natasha Curtin, global vice­-president of Bombay Sapphire, said that this leg of the campaign invited people to “see the beauty and creativity in the world around them, and demonstrate the brand’s continued commitment to creativity both inside the cocktail glass and beyond”.

Langley’s Gin heads to the Netherlands


The UK’s Charter Brands has taken Langley’s Gin to the Netherlands, courtesy of a deal with Barts Bottles.

The partnership forms part of Langley’s global expansion strategy.

Arkaitz Giménez, sales director at Charter Brands, said: “We’re thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with Bart’s Bottles in the Netherlands for Langley’s Gin. Its position as a premium brand distributor perfectly aligns with our vision and complements the calibre of importers we are partnering with.”

“Langley’s Gin’s brand values and sustainable mission complement our own and make for a good addition to our portfolio,” said Bart Van Veen, owner of Bart’s Bottles.

Hilton runs hot and cold for Grey Goose


Former reality TV star-­turned-­DJ Paris Hilton has fronted French vodka brand Grey Goose’s advertising campaign for its bottled Martini cocktail.

Hilton, presented as the brand’s ‘creative director’, is shown wondering how to make the perfect Martini before realising it’s simple when you have Grey Goose’s pre­-batched version. She then utters her catchphrase “that’s hot” and pours the liquid into a chilled glass – playfully finishing the advert by saying “that’s cold”.

The 60­-second video was directed by documentary filmmaker Nina Meredith and aired on both Hilton and Grey Goose’s social media channels. The bottled Martini was released to make it easier for people to enjoy the cocktail at home, and can be purchased in 75ml (RRP US$16.99) and 750ml (RRP US$29.99) formats.

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