Martini-owner Westbay Distributors is tipped to launch ready-mixed drinks with a vermouth base under the Martini banner in an effort to broaden the brand’s appeal to young drinkers.
The first of the new drinks is expected to appear in the spring, backed by TV advertising through Martini’s advertising agency, HHCL & Partners.
According to one insider, the “Beautiful People” TV ad campaign has successfully raised the brand’s profile, but the company must now turn its attention to new product development.
“The campaign got the brand talked about, but the problem is the product – vermouth is completely out of date. Now the profile of the brand has been raised, Westbay has to extend its relevance to new and younger drinkers,” says an agency source.
Chris Meredith, Martini marketing controller, refuses to confirm or deny speculation that the “Beautiful People” campaign is being dropped.
He says: “We are looking to build on an incredibly successful campaign which made the Martini brand grow for the first time in 13 years.”
Westbay has already launched Metz, a schnapps-based drink which contains no Martini, to take on alcopops and designer lagers, and it has been test marketing a ready-mixed rum-based drink called Zafra in Scottish pubs and nightclubs.
The brand, which comes in a clear bottle and, according to pub staff, looks like a bottled designer beer such as Sol, has had no above-the-line support so far.
It has had to rely on promotional nights, unlike Metz, which was backed with a 4m budget including a 2m TV campaign through HHCL Brasserie.