After 13 Years of Martinis, Bombay Mixes It Up

NEW YORK Since 1992, Bombay Sapphire has worked hard to align itself with the martini. This week, the popular gin will begin a TV campaign showcasing its role in other cocktails.

The yearlong $15 million marketing push includes four new TV spots for the Bacardi-owned brand. Conceived by Sugartown Creative in New York, the spots mimic classic computer screensavers.

In the spot called “Sapphire Madras,” the signature blue gin bottle floats down into in the middle of a “fish tank” screensaver. Instead of fish, we see cranberries and slices of oranges and grapefruits. It signs off with a cursor clicking on Those who key in the address at their computers can watch the ads, get cocktail recipes and download screensavers.

“We really own the martini,” said Sumindi Peiris, group marketing director at Bombay, which is based in Miami. “It’s not something we’ll ever walk away from, but we want consumers to understand there are other ways to enjoy Bombay Sapphire.”

The ads, which play on E!, FX, VH1 and other cable channels, also tout the Sapphire Rickey, Sapphire and cranberry and Sapphire and grapefruit. “Inspired” is the tagline.

The subtle ads are “meant to be a break from the clutter” on TV, said Peiris. “So much information gets crammed in, this [campaign] is more relaxed. We’ve never been about the hard sell.”

Bombay spent $10 million on media last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The brand will continue its long-running Absolut-esque print campaign in which it has designers create stylized martini glasses.