Dubonnet Freshens Image to Woo 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 agency account supervisor Kim Cox.

Heaven Hill Distilleries, the U.S. distributor of Dubonnet, wanted a sleek update for its classic label and cat logo in a bid to attract 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 like Manhattans, cosmopolitans and martinis, was in the past a drink enjoyed by wom-en 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.

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 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 California refuge.