Bacardi’s Amaretto To Mckinney

McKinney & Silver last week was named to handle creative and marketing communications for Bacardi-Martini USA’s DiSaronno Amaretto brand.
The other agencies in the running for the business included Ammirati Puris Lintas, DeVito Verdi and Warwick Baker O’Neill, all based in New York.
Billings are in the $6-8 million range, according to the agency. Competitive Media Reporting fixed the brand’s ad spending at $3 million in 1997 and $1-2 million during the first quarter of this year.
The account does not include media planning and buying responsibilities, which are housed at Ammirati. That agency also handles media and creative duties for other Bacardi brands.
McKinney chief executive officer Don Maura referred to the account acquisition as an “honor” for the Raleigh, N.C., agency.
“It’s a great product and it has a good reputation,” Maura said. “[Its image] had become somewhat outdated, and our focus will be to re-ignite the brand. We want to get younger people, 25 and up, to think about this as part of their ongoing repertoire.”
Bacardi, which also holds the marketing license for Amaretto in Canada, has the U.S. rights for the next three years.
“McKinney displayed a unique understanding of DiSaronno’s needs in terms of their strategic review of the brand, and most importantly, were able to effectively execute a creative product that will serve the brand both in the short and long term,” said Monsell Darville, group marketing manager at Bacardi-Martini USA in a statement.
McKinney will create a holiday campaign before year’s end, then break its first major work in early 1999.
The win is the fourth this year for the North Carolina shop, following the account acquisitions of Aetna U.S. Healthcare, IBM PC Co. and Carrabba’s Italian Grill, a unit of Outback Steakhouse. –with Sloane Lucas