You probably don’t realize how much grief “The Drammies” has caused me over the years…especially those pesky negative categories…
But I think that the industry deserves to feel the agony of defeat along with the thrill of victory.
To make it clear, the nominees are picked based on the volume of nominations and the subsequent winners (or losers as the case may be) are selected by volume of votes.
And, while The Scotch Blog is not a forum to lobby for votes, I do feel that I have an obligation to allow a forum for additional information and alternative views.
To that end, Ken Grier, Director of The Macallan, and I had a great call the other day – and I invited him to offer up some information on the Rankin project…
Whether you agree that the Rankin campaign was a brilliant idea or not, I truly believe that it’s important to understand the intent and thoughts behind the concept.
Without further ado…Take it away, Ken…
A perspective from Ken Grier, Director of Malts, The Edrington Group
I was interested to see that The Masters of Photography bottling had been nominated for a Drammie for Worst Marketing Campaign of 2008. I would like to make my views known as to why I believe that it should in fact have been nominated for Best marketing campaign, and not the worst.
So everyone is clear on what we are doing with the concept and what they get for their money I would like to make the following points:
We operate with the highest integrity at The Macallan. We would simply not put a new label on an existing whisky and sell it a higher price.
Each bottle is in fact a unique work of art and the price reflects this. What you are purchasing is an original Rankin Polaroid image, unique to this pack together with a one off bottle label to match and signed certificate of authenticity from Rankin. No one of these products is like another. The photography here is wide ranging and comes from an array of images which not only contrast artistic nude studies of the model Tuuli with the distillery surroundings, but also photos of the distillery workers and still life and landscape studies.
At the projects inception our intention was that the product should be great value as we were offering an original Rankin Polaroid (these currently sell for up to $1000 each) as part of the pack. This is your chance to enjoy Fine Oak 30 years old and own an original work of art at a very small premium if any.
Fluctuations in the exchange rate have obviously had an impact on the price equation but none the less it still represents extraordinarily good value for an original work of art from a world renowned photographer.
We deliberately set out to make this concept as accessible as possible for purchase by our consumers we believe that we have succeeded. The evidence to support this is that 62 of our own staff, ranging from Directors to workers in the bottling hall have bought one. This has been a higher staff take up than any other new product launch in our history.
Irrespective of whether or not you love it or hate it as an idea, I passionately believe that The Masters of Photography bottling has had a positive effect on Scotch Whisky. In order to attract new drinkers and grow the category it is not just good enough to produce great quality whisky, you need to produce innovative new products that appeal to a new audience. These need to enthral existing users and beguile new drinkers.
In addition I think it is all important that if you are assessing the effectiveness of a marketing campaign that you look at its performance versus its original objectives.
Our intent here is both to generate publicity for the brand and to recruit new younger and more stylish drinkers into The Macallan ‘club’ alongside our much valued and loyal drinkers.
We have facts to show that we have exceeded our objectives in all cases. Firstly we have generated media value of almost $2 million of publicity in just three months of its launch in art, fashion and news press.
Secondly in our four launches and exhibitions to date in the UK, Russia, Greece and the USA, we have exposed the brand to over 1500 key opinion formers and affluent consumers who attended the launch events. They may not otherwise have entered our world of single malt whiskies.
Thirdly, I have had over 300 personal expressions of praise and delight from press, trade and drinkers who adore the concept with only 5 negative comments to date, including this nomination.
Finally we have left a rich photographic legacy which encompasses one summer in the life of The Macallan for those who follow us to cherish as they ensure that this wonderful brand continues to receive the acclaim it deserves.
We at Macallan are very proud of our innovative track record. The Fine Oak range, the Fine & Rare collection and our partnership with Lalique to create our Six Pillars range of decanters are all examples of innovative new products we have brought to market. We will continue to plough this sometimes lonely furrow to the benefit of The Macallan brand and the Single Malt category for years to come.
One of the great things about blogs is that they allow freedom of speech and the right of reply. Thank you for allowing me to exercise these rights and put forward my point of view.