By Ian Neubauer

McWilliam’s Wines has recorded a 15 per cent jump in sales of Drambuie over the holiday period, which the distributor attributes to an experimental interactive marketing campaign aimed at young Australian males.

“We had an incredible result over November and December,” Drambuie marketing manager, James France said. “The brand was stagnant for three years or so and now we are up 15 per cent on volume since the campaign began.”

Launched in November, the ongoing campaign focuses on a two-and-a-half minute-long online spoof ad in which a Drambuie brand ambassador approaches working-class Aussie males – or ‘bogans’ – in traditional pub settings and offers them a Drambuie and lime. The results are predictable but hilarious, with respondents commenting on the drink’s ‘campish’ demeanour and one ‘bogan’ stating “it tastes like s**t”.

The online campaign was complemented by print ads focusing on the princely origins of the honey and herb flavoured Scotch whisky and asked consumers if they were a ‘pauper or a prince.’

“Our strategy was to tell the story of Drambuie in a humorous way,” said Luke Nathan, managing partner of The One Centre, a Sydney-based branding agency specialising in multi-disciplinary marketing solutions. “The strategy was to show that those people who don’t like the drink make it attractive to those who do.”

France said McWilliam’s was impressed by The One Centre’s unconventional solution despite the risks associated with advertising campaigns that feature negative connotations.

“On face value it was a bit of a risk but the ad is tongue in cheek and I’d like to think there is a bit of bogan in all of us,” France said. “And the fact is we had nothing to lose. Drambuie had not connected with a new younger target audience for years, so we were not going to alienate our audience as most of them didn’t know anything about the brand or how to drink it. Now it’s on their radar.”

The campaign cost $800,000 to create and publish, and has now been viewed 100,000 times. The site is currently receiving more than 500 visits per day and will culminate with an April party set in a Sydney mansion attended by competition winners and international performance acts.

“It’s not about just publishing an ad and walking away. It’s about doing something that is beyond that to give consumers an experience with the brand,” France said. “We’ve had a fantastic result but we don’t want to rest on our laurels, so we definitely will be freshening it up in coming months.”

The see the Drambuie spoof ad click here.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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