Bates Worldwide has beaten Saatchi & Saatchi to the 25m global advertising account for Ballantine’s premium whisky, Allied Domecq’s biggest spirit brand.
The appointment is part of a complete review of marketing for Ballantine’s and may see the brand developed in the UK, a market in which it has only a small presence.
Ballantine’s has previously been associated with snow boarding and youth culture through music and technology festivals, called “Urban Highs”. It is unclear whether the brand will get a new image but marketing spend will be boosted by ten per cent this year.
Bates, which also saw off Publicis and BBDO Europe in an earlier pitch, is to develop a platform of core brand qualities for a global ad campaign. The first executions will appear next year.
The move reflects the recent appointment of a new global marketing director at Allied Domecq, Todd Martin, and a new vice-president of marketing for Ballantine’s, Mark Doorbar.
Doorbar says: “The idea is that the [Ballantine’s] platform will be universally applicable. It’s more or less down to where do we choose to invest. At the moment, our focus is very much on the markets that we are strong in.” These include Europe, Asian Pacific and Latin America. The UK, however, remains a possibility, despite the presence of Teacher’s, an allied standard whisky, which is very strong in the market.
Doorbar adds: “If we believe there are real opportunities for the UK then this platform could be bought to this market. We have no specific plans… but [we are] not ruling it out. We are constantly reviewing opportunities.”