COMMENT: Glenfiddich’s nu jazz for new audience
Whisky distiller Glenfiddich is hoping to rejuvenate its image by promoting the nu jazz music scene alongside the drink itself. By following a strategy similar to Carling's successful promotion of rock music, Glenfiddich will be hoping to reap the benefits of aligning itself with youth culture.
The image of whisky varies significantly from country to country. In the UK and northern Europe, it tends to appeal to older consumers, with sophisticated tastes and a preference for single malts. However, in southern Europe it is preferred by drinkers aged 18- to 25-years, and blended whiskies are more popular. Cutty Sark is particularly successful in Spain and Greece. In East Asia, whisky benefits from a culture of conspicuous consumption and is drunk in public as a kind of badge of taste and style.
Finding a marketing strategy that appeals to these different consumer groups is a considerable challenge. For this reason, the internet is at the center of distillers' drive to change whisky's image, as it allows the manufacturers to target different consumer groups with websites dedicated to a single brand, tailored to suit different national tastes.
Glenfiddich has chosen to woo younger drinkers by associating its brand with the nu jazz music scene. The distiller's campaign will be centered around a series of interactive activities, in particular a website promoting jazz artists, a ticketing service operating through mobile phones and a download service.
The distiller is looking to reposition its whiskies with a more forward thinking image through its endorsement of nu jazz. Associating a brand with a particular type of cultural event has been shown to be an effective way of creating a bond between the targeted consumers and a brand.
Perhaps one of the best examples of this in recent years is the Carling brewery's association with rock and heavy metal events such as the Reading and Leeds Festivals in the UK. Carling also organizes events and distributes tickets. The lager brand has since enjoyed something of a rejuvenation of its image as its name becomes increasingly linked to this aspect of youth culture. It is reasonable to expect that the nu jazz scene can do the same for Glenfiddich and Scotch whisky.
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