Every day is whisky day
Christmas is a time for giving, and new opportunities exist in the Whisky category to break down problematic barriers, writes Jon Weeks, Director in Ipsos Marketing
Most people leave Christmas advent calendars behind when they get past early childhood – like learning that Father Christmas doesn’t really exist. It’s only when you become a parent that they return to your children’s life, typically with a small chocolate treat.
But not much has been done to seek an opportunity to keep the mums and dads watching the countdown to Christmas. The Whisky Advent Calendar brings together many of the themes that can help a brand, and bypass the “Bah, Humbug” gut reaction. Most significantly this innovation works well by addressing the key themes below:
Whisky may be an alcoholic drink, but as an advent calendar, it taps into the excitement we felt as children. This nostalgic & frivolous side is one that can be engaged with more around Christmas, and is facilitated by the “it’s a treat” mentality, as well as the warming qualities that normally lead to whisky appearing around the winter months.
The category barriers are broken down by the nature of the offering – whisky can be expensive, and for the majority, inexperience of personal tastes can make the wrong choice of whisky a gamble too far, leading to no purchase and removing the opportunity to experience new products. This isn’t an issue here, as the spectrum of whiskies offered by the different types are about learning personal likes and dislikes. With clear labelling, future purchases become much easier as favourites will be quickly apparent. For those that really want to learn more, the short descriptions also help consumers learn the terms associated with whisky connoisseurs – so those that like “peaty flavours” can more easily seek other brands of that type.
It’s a fresh twist on elements that exist within the category – tasting sets are readily available, so timing this with the peak spend time for the category at the end of year will be a new opportunity to drive sales and win new whisky consumers into the bargain.
A toe in the water for non-category buyers – delivering growth is always a challenge for a brand. Looking beyond what’s tried & tested in established categories, enables reappraisal amongst those that are open to try new things. Ever had something that wasn’t easily understood when explained by one person, but then another person explained it and all became clear? This is the same principle when the brand explains to the consumer why the product can be interesting to them.
The look of the pack is important – for those less familiar with the category, it can seem dusty and uninspiring. The pack turns this on its head, with modernity brought in through simple whisky terms and famous quotes appearing among pictorial images of glasses and bottles. Contrasted with The Ginvent calendar, there is a clear His & Hers approach across the two.
A familiar beer brand slogan of “reassuringly expensive” works well here too. Price point is always an issue, let alone at this time of year and in the middle of a recession. When you learn that the top end sample in the advent calendar is worth £350 for a small bottle, quality is key in the decision to purchase, and more so if this were to be a gift.
Consumers welcome positive challenges, and opportunities to reappraise how they understand what they experience. What is key for brands to consider is how they approach incremental and innovative ways to broaden their consumer base by fresh means.
So if you’re after raising your spirits this Christmas, this could be the shot you’re looking for.
Jon Weeks Director in Ipsos Marketing. Follow me on Twitter: @weeks_jon