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Top 10 marketing moves from May 2024

From ‘daring’ campaigns to ones that featured no pants, spirits brands were making bold statements with their marketing moves in May.

Pantalones co-founders Matthew and Camila McConaughey’s ‘Official Tequila Of’ campaign was one of our top marketing moves in May

Actor Matthew McConaughey and his wife, Camila McConaughey, took off their pants (or trousers) to promote their Tequila Pantalones, while vermouth brand Martini dared consumers to step out of the ‘everyday you’ with its latest marketing campaign.

Meanwhile, a number of brands had an eye on European expansion, Grand Marnier got rapper 2 Chainz on board with a digital content series, and Dewar’s teed off on the US Open golf championship with a special Scotch whisky.

To find out what else made our top 10 marketing moves in May, keep scrolling down.

Interested to see what made the list in previous months? Check out our marketing roundups from March and April.

Grand Marnier links up with 2 Chainz


Campari Group’s Grand Marnier liqueur teamed up with Grammy award­-winning rapper 2 Chainz for its latest campaign.

The campaign is presented as a digital content series called The Rouge Room, which the brand said showcases the power of unexpected combinations. The clip depicts 2 Chainz in The Rouge Room explaining how to make a Grand Margarita using the brand’s Cognac-based orange liqueur. The rapper then ends the clip, saying: “The Grand Margarita: Grand Marnier makes it better.”

The campaign will run until September, with further collaborations to follow.

Asia next stop for El Tequileño

El Tequileno Tequila

Drinks99 will be Tequila brand El Tequileño’s distributor in key Asian markets, including China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The distributor was chosen by Charter Brands, which distributes El Tequileño in Europe. Arkaitz Giménez Amesti, sales director of Charter Brands, said: “Drawing on our success in Europe and other key global markets, we’re dedicated to expanding El Tequileño’s presence and sharing its quality and heritage with consumers. This marks an important milestone for us as we aim to be in over 40 countries by the end of the year, with the APAC [Asia Pacific] region expected to play a significant role.”

Daniel O’Connor, director of Drinks99, added: “El Tequileño epitomises the quintessential qualities necessary for a triumphant brand launch across China, Hong Kong and Singapore.”

Cream Heroes eyes international expansion

Cream Heroes

Spanish Spirits producer The Finest Group launched its Tequila cream liqueur, Cream Heroes, in Portugal and France.

The liqueur will be distributed by Viriathus Drinks in Portugal, and Union Commerciale des Vins de France (UCVF) in France. It is currently available in 24 markets worldwide. César Coutinho, co-­founder of Viriathus Drinks, said of Cream Heroes: “After tasting it you become a fan.”

UCVF, meanwhile, launched the brand at Wine Paris, and its representative, Sébastien Peyssonneaux, said the liqueur “got positive feedback from all visitors straight away. Cream Heroes quickly became our best­selling brand and a good accelerator for our development with Horeca [hotel, restaurant, catering].”

Radico Khaitan makes a Be-line for Europe


Indian Spirits group Radico Khaitan partnered with Danish distribution platform Bemakers to boost its presence in Europe.

Radico Khaitan has more than 15 international and domestic brands, spanning brandy, rum, whisky, vodka and gin, and already exports to more than 85 countries. The partnership with Bemakers will enhance its existing distribution and expand its direct-­to-­consumer opportunities.

Kunal Madan, vice­-president of international business, Radico Khaitan, said: “We believe Bemakers is the ideal fit for our business model, with its excellent infrastructure and capable team to execute our vision.”

Morten R Stengaard, CEO and co­-founder of Bemakers, added: “We are proud to see such a strong brand and experienced distillery like Radico Khaitan choosing Bemakers as its European consolidator, providing a gateway into the European market.”

Neit targets Italy with ElevenTrade


Irish whiskey brand Neit named ElevenTrade as its exclusive distributor in Italy.

The brand views the partnership with ElevenTrade – a leading distributor in the Italian spirits market – as a significant step for its growth, having launched in March this year, as it looks to expand its global footprint. Francesco Fracassi, co­-founder of Neit, said: “Neit is excited to embark on this journey with ElevenTrade, whose expertise in the Italian market is unparalleled.”

The partnership will involve marketing initiatives, including exclusive tasting events, strategic point­of­sale displays, and extensive promotional activities. Fracassi added: “Italy’s appreciation for premium spirits aligns perfectly with our commitment to quality and craftsmanship.”

McConaugheys turn other cheek for Pantalones


Tequila brand Pantalones launched its first campaign, titled ‘Official Tequila Of’.

The campaign features various adverts that show the brand’s co-­founders, Interstellar actor Matthew McConaughey, and his wife, Camila McConaughey, presenting the brand as the ‘official’ Tequila of various things and situations – starting with pickleball and spring cleaning – while they go without underwear.

The McConaugheys said: “With the explosion in popularity of Tequila, there’s a level of snootiness that’s crept into the category. People now talk about Tequila the way they talk about wine. While we’re all passionate about Tequila, we wanted to remind people that, above all, it’s meant to be fun.”

Martini unveils daring campaign

Martini Dare to Be campaign

Bacardi-owned vermouth brand Martini is celebrating the ‘modern aperitivo moment’ in its latest marketing campaign.

Named Dare to Be, the campaign asks consumers to step out of the ‘everyday you’ and into ‘your most playful and stylish self’. Martini hopes it will further cement its position as ‘a leader and innovator in the no­-and­-low’ category with its portfolio of long drinks, including non­-alcoholic expressions Floreale and Vibrante.

Victoria Morris, the brand’s vice-­president, said: “Style and playfulness are at the heart of Martini’s identity, and have been a significant part of our heritage as an Italian brand. We wanted to bring these elements to the forefront through the message of Martini Dare to Be.”

The campaign has already launched in Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, with Portugal and Italy to follow later this year.

Dewar’s tees off for US Open

Blended Scotch Dewar’s is continuing its partnership with the US Open Golf Championship for the fourth year.

For the 124th edition of the championship, held at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in North Carolina between 13 and 16 June, the brand has made a 19­-year­-old whisky – crafted by master distiller Stephanie Macleod – that showcases a double­-ageing process, and is finished in first­-fill rye whisky casks. Bottled at 43% ABV, it carries notes of pear, heather honey, cinnamon and cocoa powder.

Brian Cox, vice­-president of Dewar’s North America, said: “With the release of Dewar’s 19 Years Old we honour the timeless connection between the sport and the shared moments that follow.”

Dewar’s 19 Years Old – The Champion’s Edition is now available in limited quantities for US$79.99.

Black Tears hits the right note in Cuba

Black Tears Rum

Spiced rum brand Black Tears is giving it back to its homeland in Cuba by supporting young musicians in the country.

In collaboration with the Black Box gallery in Havana, the brand will back and promote young musicians in Cuba via Black Box’s Talent Show programme. The programme was created by Andrés Levín, a Grammy- winning record producer, and will include multiple competition tours for young musicians throughout 2024, culminating in an album release at the end of the year.

Levín, who owns the Black Box gallery, said: “We felt from the start a natural resonance between Black Box and Black Tears. We are supporting up-­and-­coming talent that would normally not be heard – as part of Black Tears’ mission.”

Highclere Gin raises the stakes in race


Highclere Castle Gin was the sponsor of this year’s Carnarvon Stakes horse race, held on Saturday 18 May at Newbury Racecourse.

The race ran for more than six furlongs, and offered a prize fund of £65,000 (US$81,380). Newbury Racecourse is seven miles from Highclere Castle, which is the home of the gin’s co-­founders, Earl and Countess Carnarvon. The Carnarvon family has long been associated with the race. The fifth Earl of Carnarvon supported the creation of Newbury Racecourse in 1905.

Lord Carnarvon said: “Highclere Castle Gin is proud to sponsor the Carnarvon Stakes as we appreciate the link to the terroir of Highclere with our oats.”

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