Drinks marketing – inception style

tmg-slideshow_xlI love this idea.

San Francisco restaurant the Burritt Room has a secret drink, off the menu.

Ordering the Wingtip Vieux Carré Me Away will see a fine concoction of Glenfiddich 15, Remy, Benedictine and two types of bitters festooning your table with a custom copper coaster.

On completion of your dinner, and the drink an uber will be waiting for you outside the front door, ready to whisk you and 3 guests away to a secret club. The Wingtip sounds pretty boysy, but given the booze forward entry price, it is probably a self selecting audience.

More at Thrillist, which is where the image came from as well.






Wanting what you can’t have.


Angus Winchester posted this picture on his facebook and it got me thinking.

First, I thought, I wish I was a troubadour, traveling the world, spinning lyrical on the wonders of Chartreuse, sampling and mixing fine drinks. Most importantly stumbling across delightful little gems like the three experimental bottles pictured above. They come from the Buffalo Trace Distillery, two are whiskeys, aged in Zinfandel barrels, for 6 and 10 years respectively; the one on the right is a 17 year old rum, something of a peculiarity for a boutique Bourbon distiller. There was obviously something unusual in the water running through Franklin County in the early 90’s.

For a good ten minutes I hated Angus, the envy of this discovery lingering in my throat like the finish on their whiskey. Then as I thought about it more, I decided there was something worth writing about here.

For a long time, alcohol brands were products. A consistent, reliable spirit that could be tried again and again, shipped in quantity around the globe. The experience was as much about the local you were in, glass in hand as was where the product had come from.

The google culture we live in now has changed that, search, and the value we place on finding out the story has led to a proliferation of special, crafted brands that succeed through word of mouth and the advantage of their scarcity.

These experimental editions of Buffalo Trace amount, to me at least, to great branding. Brand is no longer about the product, but about the connection and showing the passion and creativity of the team at the distillery builds another channel of communication to the core audience. It’s not trying to be better than their core offering and in my view it only increases the value of the standard product.

I only hope more producers take note of this and start to share little gems of thinking and love.

I’ll certainly write about anything like this.


Touché, Canadian Club campaign from the late 1960’s

jdt_boozead1aAfter the comments on ‘A connection with the Old country‘ stated that Laphroaig had been running its social friends of the brand for decades, and offering one square foot leases of the peat bog, I was quite impressed. How innovative and before their time was that. Turn’s out, they weren’t the only ones doing really great marketing, way back.

Canadian Club, before the brand was splashed all over buses in Sydney advertising premix CC and Dry or Cola, it was a premium brand for people chasing something different.

Starting in 1967, their agency started hiding cases of product in hard to find parts of the world. The campaign ran until 1981, with a total of 22 cases being hidden around the world. Most were found in a relatively short period of time, 13 weeks for the one placed on the roof of a skyscraper in New York, five weeks for the case planted in Death Valley, Arizona. Other’s took a little more finding, seven years for the case on Mt. Kilimanjaro.

There are still five cases that have never been found. Hidden: 1) At the North Pole; 2) In Lake Placid, NY; 3) In The Yukon Territory of Canada; 4) On Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Chile; and 5) In Ujiji, Tanzania.

Finding any of these seems remote now, but should you want to give it a go, make sure you get in touch with James Wiltoff, who has been positing comments right around the web about going looking for the cases, primarily the Ujiji case, hidden a mere 110 feet from where Stanley met Livingstone. email him at for the details.

And before you go running off to Africa, the settlement at Ujiji has grown considerably and the case has more than likely been found by some locals, unaware of its notoriety.

If that all sounds like too much effort, you can buy a modern bottle here in Sydney, prices start at around ten bucks.


A connection with the old country

laphroaigqcThe guys over at Luxist have just covered this story.

Laphroaig Scotch Whisky have launched a new idea as part of the website they have just taken live. By registering the purchase number of your bottle of Laphroaig online, you are granted lifetime ownership of one square foot of land on the island of Islay.

Go to to check it out.

Landowners are encouraged to make a visit to the distillery to collect the ‘rent’ on their property, a wee dram of the good stuff.

Smart idea that works well with a brand loved by its drinkers.

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