BBDO Beefs Up Gin Campaign

$10 Mil. Effort Uses “Bold’ Positioning to Court a Younger Crowd
CHICAGO-After a year’s hiatus from advertising Beefeater, Allied Domecq Spirits USA is putting $10 million behind BBDO’s debut campaign for the gin brand.
Tagged “A bold spirit always stands out,” the ads target younger drinkers. They break this week in January editions of national magazines such as GQ, InStyle and Wired.
“Our goal was to make the brand more relevant among the younger target,” said Joanne Kletecka, Beefeater’s marketing director. “The brand essence is that courageous spirits demand Beefeater.”
Research found that the target audience-men and women 25-35-perceived the brand as old-fashioned and too strong-tasting, said Susan Cartwright, account director at BBDO, Chicago. Positioning it as “bold and distinct” turned that into a positive, she said.
“We were looking for some way to focus the re-assessment of Beefeater,” she said.
The new ads are each centered on a specific gin-based cocktail and show young, attractive models dressed in outfits inspired by the traditional garb of the Beefeater, the British palace guard. The photographs, taken by Albert Watson, are a reinterpretation of the bottle label.
“It takes what we already own and tries to make it more appealing to younger people,” Cartwright said.
Along with the national magazine push, ads will also appear regionally and on billboards in key markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
Beefeater’s 1998 campaign, from Mezzina/Brown, New York, was tagged “Live a little,” and backed by $2.3 million in spending, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
BBDO won Allied Domecq’s Beefeater and Kahlua accounts in January, and recently also picked up media planning duties for both.