Drambuie: Return of the Prince

Our brief was to get young affluent males and to try Drambuie in a new serving suggestion - Drambuie & Soda.

The problem was, even though everyone has heard of Drambuie, they don’t know what it is or how you drink it. Bar staff included. Also, the bars we wanted to get people to drink it in don’t really allow promotions.

And now for some history. The recipe for Drambuie was handed down by Scottish Prince, Charles Stuart, to a loyal subject after his defeat on the battlefield by the British in 1745 (if he’d won, he’d have been King of Great Britain!). True story.

Our idea was to bring Charles Stuart back - a direct descendant of the original Scottish prince, surrounded with the trappings of a very wealthy playboy. His own blog established a globetrotting history.

Charles visited bars as a Scottish bloke on holiday. He’d get chatting with barmen, ordering a Drambuie & Soda and showing them how to mix one.

A few days later Charles would turn up with his entourage - including a chauffered $300K Audi and security. This time he’d get chatting with the locals and maybe shout them a drink - a Drambui & Soda. Why Drambuie? He might make a reference to some family history.
Before leaving, Charles would give his new-found friends his calling card, and invite them to a party he was throwing whilst in town.

Charles toured bars in Sydney and Melbourne and hosted parties in both cities for over 500 people. The parties made the social pages and Charles popped up on various blogs etc. Charles also introduced his new found friends to the “Drambuie Clan”. And then he disappeared.

Charles hasn’t been seen for months, but still the Drambuie is flowing - through invitations to pop-up parties and events - most with a Scottish theme.

Advertising Agency: The One Centre, Sydney, Australia
Creative Director / Copywriter: Phil Shearer
Art Director: Dave Henderson

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22 comments

Blahg's picture
Blahg
616 pencils

You don't need to be a genius or of royal Scottish heritage to know that this is a time tested formula for launching a drink. There's nothing really exceptionally creative about this except that they created an easily forgettable male socialite to push it.

I've worked as a beer rep before and it's pretty much standard play book to go into a bar, buy some influential customers whatever product is being promoted and then pass out invitations to a branded party.

I hope Drambuie didn't pay too much for this insight. They could have picked it up for free by watching any of their competitors for half an hour and mastered the technique.

Blahg's picture
Blahg
616 pencils

Particularly funny is that in the image attached they are bragging about having signed up 260 members to their free fan club, which presumably offers some sort of benefit for membership. 260? How much did the campaign cost?

andrej dwin's picture
andrej dwin
939 pencils

jealous?

AdArena: Sex Sells
http://www.adarena.net

Blahg's picture
Blahg
616 pencils

Ummm no, have you tried it?

Aitch's picture
Aitch
75 pencils

What you're forgetting here Blahg is that barmen know how to pour a beer - but they didn't know how to mix a Drambuie. So the actor had to educate both barmen and regular customers - I don't supose you had much education elements to your beer rep days, just sampling.

Blahg's picture
Blahg
616 pencils

A good point, but as most people who have worked in a bar will tell you the last person that the bartender pays attention to on how to do their job is the annoying customer.

I think if they wanted to educate barmen on how to prepare the drink, you do it the way Diageo, Bacardi LLC and the rest of the liquor distribution companies do it, you invite the barmen to an open bar tasting.

This really isn't an industry that needs to trick people into trying their products.

deep_tracy's picture
deep_tracy
588 pencils

honey and herbs? sounds like mojito. i want one now.

Aitch's picture
Aitch
75 pencils

Blahg, the people who worked in the bars actually quite liked Charles. This was evident through the trade only Charles Stuart Cup golf tournament and their support of his parties. These weren't regular barmen either, but the cities best. On the whole they engaged and liked Charles, going so far as to take him and his staff with them on a few nights out. And thanks for noting we didn't just tow the line and do another booze company tasting.

Blahg's picture
Blahg
616 pencils

No problem. I hope that the client looked at the results of this, a self-admitted 260 fan club sign ups and local publicity equivalent to a charity golf tournament and thought it was worth the fee.

I'm certainly not arguing that this approach isn't effective only that it was indeed JUST another booze company tasting with added agency fees.

I quite liked Brad, my Diageo rep, when I tended bar because he was friendly, and provided us with free samplings, he got invited to quite a few parties too. The difference, Diageo didn't spend thousands of dollars on an ad agency to create a fictional character, they just hired people who built relationships.

I mean I could create a character called Mr. Drinkypants, have him go out to the bars, give people some free samples, get him invited out with the staff, pass people membership cards that let them sign up for email mailings pointing to great parties etc.

Will it make a bigger dent in results then a "tow the line" tasting? Maybe, though I doubt it. A dent worth the cost of the agency execution? I don't think so.

The agency here had a client who was interested in a new idea and got the same old idea with a back story attached and larger fees.

Bauducco's picture
Bauducco
297 pencils

I don´t know if it´s a original idea, but i like it.

♥ get lost ad freak ♠'s picture
♥ get lost ad f...
250 pencils

don't forget to subtract all the agency guys and the people working for the client from the 260 members.
i bet the person who liked it most was this vin-diesel/matt damon look-alike guy.
______________________________________________________________
♥♠

Aitch's picture
Aitch
75 pencils

Funnily enough there wasn't drink that was made for "Mr Drinkypants," he and his ilk are rather common round here -unfortunately. Not only that but Mr Drinkypants would have been dismissed by both the clients and the staff because he wasn't engaging ansd didn't have a history. However - there was a bespoke liquor made for Prince Charles Edward Stuart way back in 1745 or so. He had a great legend, story and a new twist on his old drink.

Therefore the relevance of bringing Mr Charles Stuart to life - drove the creative. It also gave us royal cues through which to style everything and in turn make it relevant to both the high-end bartenders and the consumers that frequent the establishments. I grant you it's not a 'huge' leap of logic but it was a 'relevant' one.

Aitch's picture
Aitch
75 pencils

Oh and the Clan has continued to grow too, we're at just over 400 now.

Blahg's picture
Blahg
616 pencils

Coors Light Facebook group members: 14,062
Drumbei Roytalty Club: 400

My point is that 260, even 400 is a pretty dismal payoff for all of the "publicity" that apparently the client scored.

At first you defended this ad as not "just towing the line", then when it was pointed out that they DID just tow the line, you're telling me that there's nothing wrong with towing the line because it is what the client wanted PLUS a back story.

From the creative above it looks like the agency put a lot of effort and time into creating a custom cover for your actor's briefing instructions.

This looks like a waste of money to me. Bravo to the agency for scoring it. I would consider this a screw up by Drumbei's marketing department.

Aitch's picture
Aitch
75 pencils

Not so much a screw up Blahg, more a huge success. Drambuie international are stoked - oh and keep an eye out in your local Toronto bar for Charlie.

deep_tracy's picture
deep_tracy
588 pencils

royalty sure are ugly.

Aitch's picture
Aitch
75 pencils

Yeah Tracey, their ugly because they've been sleeping with their sisters and cousins for generations.

Billy Hill's picture
Billy Hill

Hey, at least you had a go.
Not really an ad though, is it?
More of a promotional idea that uses deceit as its creative tool.
In advertising, we use an insight of our customers needs and product truths.
If it were an ad it would breech the AFA conduct code.
Good thing it's not an ad.

why is it on Ads Of The World?

Aitch's picture
Aitch
75 pencils

Product truth turned into a piece of theatre.

deep_tracy's picture
deep_tracy
588 pencils

couldn't they have given charlie plastic surgery before sending him out? i'm sure drambuie can afford it.

or charlie should have been in this campaign instead:
http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/villa_del_sur_portrait_3

or drambuie should have targetted rich, ugly people (i.e., politicians and royalty) and used the idea 'natured owed you this.'

Guest's picture
Guest

Oh dear, Jealous are we...Have a look in the mirror mate!! Looks are only skin deep!!

Guest's picture
Guest

Coors light facebook members : 14,062. Recall that they are a member, maybe 1%
= 140 engagement points

Drambuie Clan members : 400. Recall that they went to one or more Drambuie-themed parties, 100%
= 400 engagement points.

Erm, I think I know who got value-for-money.

Worth saying again for the 100th time : don't count the audience, get to the audience that counts.

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