Why Grand Marnier Is Pouring More Energy Into Digital Ads

Grand Marnier is looking back and moving forward with its new ad campaign. The $4 million initiative, which kicks off on October 1, is heavily focused on digital advertising but incorporates classic French images that are more Toulouse-Lautrec than Twitter.

Among its digital efforts are a pair of iPhone apps—a game that allows consumers to pour a drink with a simulated shaker, and another that allows people to send e-cards featuring the same animation as its print and out-of-home ads. Rich media banner ads and a Facebook promotion with a revitalized brand page will also be incorporated.

The aggressive digital campaign is a new advertising direction for the company, which has not been advertising this year and is fairly new to the social media game.

“We’re making a conscious effort to revitalize the brand with a younger consumer target,” said Scott Green, vp of marketing and sales for Marnier-Lapostolle group. “We really were hearing that customers were living online and we had to make sure that we were connecting with consumers in the way that they digest media today.” 

Besides the digital promotions, the liqueur will be promoted on New York and San Francisco billboards featuring illustrations in a classic French aesthetic. The same images will be used for promotions in print magazines, targeting an audience interested in travel, entertainment and food.

Illustrative poster campaigns are not new to Grand Marnier, which used this style of advertising for campaigns from 1983 to 1994, and even as far back as 1880. They developed the art for the campaign with ad agency Lambesis.

It is certainly a shift in style from Grand Marnier’s last campaign, which ran through 2008. Those ads had a more contemporary vibe, with images of people partying, reflected in the glass Grand Marnier bottle.

A limited edition bottle in the “La Vie Grand Marnier” spirit will also be sold in select stores at the suggested retail price of $64.99. The label will feature the words “La Vie Grand Marnier” and packaged in a box featuring the animation from the campaign. But the company emphasizes that the special bottle will still contain the same classic recipe.

In addition to this Q4 campaign, there are further plans underway for a separate campaign beginning in 2010. Though the specifics are still being finalized, Green stresses that digital will be a key part of the advertising.

“We are absolutely committed to digital,” said Green. “We will evaluate television, but given the initial research we have done through our media partners, we know the digital space is definitely the sweet spot.”