Tuesday, June 30, 2009

From Adrants:

"So Knob Creek, due to demand for its bourbon, is running low on supply and is at risk of running dry before its next batch is ready in November. Rather than bottle the next batch before its full nine year maturity, the comapny has turned its lack of product into a promotion. A sick joke of a promotion but a promotion none the less.

We've been sent all sorts of goodies from marketers in the mail. Sadly, most are of the throw-a-way variety. This is most certainly not the case when it comes to liquor, unless you consider pouring the product down one's throat throwing it away.

So we were quite pleased to see the FedEx man drop off a package which, when opened, turned out to be a nicely designed box from Knob Creek. Ooo...more liquor, we thought. And borboun. And a really good bourbon at that!

Sadly, upon opening the box, all we got was an empty bottle of Knob Creek and a letter explaining the company's predicament. OK, so it is a fairly ingenious promotion but, dudes, the whirlwind of anticipation and resulting depression caused us to go sulk in our bedroom for at least five minutes before we could come back to work.

At least Jim Beam sends full bottles of its product! Then again, Jim Beam isn't Knob Creek so we're inclined to understand. Anyway, there's the story of Knob Creek's latest promotion."

The comments are broadly positive:

"To me this is a great technique for grabbing attention and instigating curiousity to stand apart and generate demand for your product. With this kind of promotion they are bound to turn the retail outlets dry of supply sooner than they actually anticipate thereby creating a following of curious first timers who would wait for the new supply in Novemeber. Though the challenge would be to engage and make sure the brand recall is fresh until then."

"I got a "I survived the drought of 2009" t-shirt. I'm quite pleased with it, actually."

It reminds me (a tiny bit) of Burger King's Whopper Freakout. Holding back your product is an interesting mechanic so long as you do it in the right way. For Knob Creek it is a sign that they are so committed to creating top quality bourbon that they wouldn't dream of cutting corners.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Exciting news. The Le Nez de Courvoisier idea is gaining momentum. Recently, thanks to Amy Neville-Eliot and her Global Travel Retail team, Courvoisier created a Le Nez installation in Charles de Gaulle aiport in Paris.

The installation focused on bringing the three key aromas - creme brulee, candied orange and iris flowers - in Courvoisier XO to life through scent. To add more engagement the aromas are complimented by music created especially by Lauent Assoulen who is able to create the sounds of smells. The combination of music and aroma helps to demysify the complex aura that surrounds cognac. Each aroma is traced back to a different part of the cognac production process. For instance creme brulee comes from the way the barrels are toasted and iris flowers comes from the borderies cru.

Courvoisier Global Travel Retail Marketing Manager Amy Neville-Eliot said: “The Le Nez de Courvoisier programme provides us with an opportunity to bring to life the Cognac experience, by using sight, smell, and sound to maximise the pleasure of the tasting. Securing this site in Charles de Gaulle during the month of March was a great opportunity to launch the concept to the travel retail consumer. We are now looking at ways to roll it out with other travel retail customers in Europe.”

An extract from the Moodie report says:

"Philippe Lanusse, Senior Buyer at French airport retailer Aelia, commented: “We were delighted to launch the Le Nez de Courvoisier programme to the travel retail consumer in Charles de Gaulle Airport. It is a refreshing, new concept that allowed us to engage with potential Cognac consumers on a new level. The fully interactive experience gives them the opportunity to have fun whilst learning more about Cognac.”"

The installation was also covered on Trend News.

It's great to see such an exciting idea being rolled out. Last summer we created Le Nez training kits for our sales force and in December we create a Le Nez nosing experience at a Future 500 event.

In the pipeline is a Le Nez session at Tales of the Cocktails in New Orleans and many more exciting projects.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Courvoisier recently held a mixology event in London for members of The Future 500 as a way of showcasing the mixable nature of Exclusif. I'm biased because I work on Courvoisier, but I love cognac cocktails, partly becasue the Sazerac and the Sidecar are regarded as being two of the original cocktails ever to have been created. And guess what, they are both made with cognac.

The great thing about Exclusif is that it is made specifically for bartenders to create amazing cocktails. Many people read this as meaning that Exclusif is an inferior product that should be masked by coke or ginger ale. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Because of the fact that Exclusif is made using grapes from the four top crus it has a more complex taste profile that allows it to stand up to almost any flavour you throw at it. Rather than it being easier to make, it actually takes more effort and skill to craft. This makes Exclusif great for bartenders to experiment with in a range of cocktails.

The event was brilliantly put on by Drew, Greg, Delphine and Amy at White Label and was hosted by Andy Pearson. There were 5 tables which were each hosted by a different mixologist from the Courvoisier Future 500 network who guided the guests through a range of cocktail challenges. There were 4 round of cocktails ranging from the classic sazerac to begin with, through to creating a long mixed drink and a version of a cognac martini.

It was huge fun and taught us that the bartenders are far more skillful than we give them credit for. The crowd was a brilliant selection of fascinating people who you could spend the entire night talking to and bouncing ideas around with. I'm now looking forward to the next event.

Here are some photos to give you a feel for the event

Tasting sessions and cognac

Angella and Hayley marvelling at a Courvoisier float

Lemon grass cocktail

Using lemon grass as a straw

5 drops of bitters

Only use 5 drops of bitters (whoops!)

Strawberry and basil

Strawberry and basil cocktail cleverly titled "The Faulty Basil"

For a much better write up have a look at the article in Theme Magazine here.

Tanqueray Magnum

A taste for life

I was very honoured to be invited to the public unveiling of the "Tanqueray Taste for Life" photography exhibition at Liberty's in assocation with Magnum. A stunning space in Liberty's was transformed into a photography gallery showcasing the winning entries into the contest along with some classics from the Magnum portfolio.

The Taste for Life contest asked entrants to capture “rich, intense moments in life". Moments that Tanqueray would like to be a part of. It's a really interesting area from a strategic as well as photographic perspective. From a brand point of view it deliberately hasn't asked for "refreshing moments" which is what gin brands tend to do. They typically focus on the thirst quenching, refreshing territory. But as a premium gin brand, Tanqueray is playing in a more upmarket, premium space that almost feels celebratory. And from a photographer's point of view the area of rich intense moments in life" is a far richer playground than refreshment.

Tanqueray's involvement with photography also fits the TGI data that maps against drinkers of premium gin brands. Taking photographs and appreciating photography is something that fits well with a premium spirits brand.

Partipants were given the brief along with some inspirational shots from Stuart Franklin, the President of Magnum. Not only did this give the competition serious credibility, but also direction. It's interesting that Diageo always features 2 glasses in its ads... and likewise how Stuart Franklin's pictures show 2 people. The idea being that Tanqueray is a sociable drink for sharing life's rich moments.

"... a competition is being run by the makers of Tanqueray gin to give ten photographers a chance to feature in the Magnum Photos exhibition as well as winning a top prize of £5,000. Entrants in the two age categories (18-24) and (25+) will need to capture their interpretation of a 'Taste for Life' and provide their own rich, intense moments. To help guide entrants there will be five categories to enter covering adventure, relationships, cocktails & glamour, achievements and festivals & celebrations.

All entrants will be judged by a panel of experts including Stuart Franklin, President of Magnum Photos, Jeremy Langmead, Editor of Esquire magazine, Alan Sparrow, Picture Editor of Metro, Nicky Catley, Picture Editor of The Daily Telegraph and Kristof Fahey, Vice President of Marketing for Yahoo! Europe.

To inspire entrants, the makers of Tanqueray have commissioned Stuart Franklin to capture his own 'Taste for Life' images. To view these images and enter the competition visit www.ATasteForLife.co.uk. A shortlist of forty entries will be selected for the final judging process and all pictures will also be put forward for the public to vote for a People's Choice to feature in the exhibition."

Tanqueray partnered with Flickr to earn credibiliy in the photograpic arena. It's a great model for a contest and produced some fantastic images.

Here are some images from the event:

Taste for life

Mirror love

Paris leap


Watch out for Ali

I love the Ali picture in its own right, but in a funny way I just find this shot more amusing. I love the fact that he looks like he is pouncing on the people in front of him at the event.

Taste for life poster

The winning entry: Daniel Clinch's image ‘Treading a Fresh Path'as covered in the Telegraph.

We were treated to some fabulous cocktails. My favourite was the English Garden, made with elderflower cordial and apple juice. But the Grapefruit and Passion Fruit number wasn't half bad either. Especially when accompanied by a scallop wrapped in pancetta!


I am also told that these people are famous... but I neither know who they are or have heard about them in conjunction with Tanqueray since.

I like Tanqueray's Taste for Life idea becuase...

1. It makes Tanqueray seem very premium
2. The area of photography fits with their target audience
3. Partnering with Magnum and Stuart Franlin adds gravitas and a media hook
4. Partnering with Flickr makes the engagement side work and amplifies the contest within the photographic community
5. The use of media and timescale ensured that the programme was talked about before (Off Licence News and Spitoon) and after the event on Londonist and in the Telegraph
6. It fits in really well with their ongoing sampling presence at Taste of xxxx events

Well done Tanqueray and Jo and the team at Trimedia and thanks for the incredible goodie bag.


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