Dubonnet Woos Younger Women

Dubonnet attempts to cash in on the classic cocktail craze among younger women with a new campaign from Keller Crescent.

Two print executions from the Evansville, Ind., agency relaunch Dubonnet Rouge and Blanc aperitifs. The work breaks in January issues of Bon Appétit, O: The Oprah Magazine and BRNTWD.

The estimated $1 million effort, Dubonnet’s first ad push in two years, introduces the tagline, “Let the cat out,” which replaces “Make the ordinary extraordinary,” said Kim Cox, account supervisor at Keller Crescent.

Heaven Hill Distilleries, the exclusive distributor of Dubonnet in the U.S., wanted a sleek update for its classic label and cat logo in a bid to capture the attention of women, 30 to 45, Cox said.

“What is old is kind of hip again in that age group, and Dubonnet wanted to respond to that market,” Cox said.

Dubonnet, a wine-based, herb- and spice-dosed aperitif that istypically mixed with other ingredients to create variations on classic cocktails such as Manhattans, cosmopolitans and martinis, was in the past a drink enjoyed by women in their 40s and older.

As these cocktails have become more popular with younger people through such media models as the cosmopolitan-swilling bed-hoppers on Sex and the City, Dubonnet’s marketers thought it was time to freshen the brand’s look and advertise, Cox said.

Keller Crescent art director Dick Thomas led the agency’s redesign of the cat logo, which has been part of the label since the brand was born in 1846. The previous rendition was a more traditional illustration of a cat. Keller Crescent’s graphic work uses just a few quick swipes of a pen to outline the feline in various poses.

Copy in one ad poses the question, “A party with no Dubonnet?” with the quick rejoinder, “Take me off the guest list,” to tout Dubonnet and champagne. Another ad reads, “Catty remarks … Dubonnet … My kind of evening,” promoting the mixture of Dubonnet with soda.

Both executions contain a secondary theme, “It’s a crisp taste that teases all it touches.”

The campaign also includes a series of advertorials supporting The Roar Foundation’s Shambala Preserve, which features large cats such as lions, tigers, panthers and cheetahs from the refuge in California’s Mojave Desert.

“The charitable tie-in makes sense for the brand,” Cox said.