Martell tries out cognac cocktails in youth bid

Seagram is developing a range of pre-mixed Martell cocktails which seek to make the cognac attractive to young, trendy consumers.

The spirits company has already launched a range of traditional and “old skool” cocktail recipes using Martell as a base ingredient instead of gin or vodka. Bars will be encouraged to put them on their cocktail menus.

The Martell Sour is being tested in city centre bars across the country and will be followed this month by Martell Cosmopolitan, Martell Ginger and Martell Apricot.

Jeanette Edwards, senior brand manager for Martell, says that while there are no immediate plans for a pre-mixed spirits range, it would be a logical move if consumer reaction to the cocktails is positive.

“We have got a very strong brand and that would be a logical step. At the moment we are still at the stage where we are working on the brand’s image to make it more up-to-date,” says Edwards.

The company is using the image of a young vivacious French woman called Martell in a &£20m global print and TV campaign created by TBWA Worldwide.

The ads, which break in the new year, will feature cocktail recipes and they will also be available on a website based around the Martell character.

The pre-packaged spirits sector, which includes brands such as Bacardi Breezer, Metz and Smirnoff Ice, is the fastest growing alcoholic drinks category according to AC Nielsen.

Seagram’s &£5bn wine and spirits portfolio, which includes Chivas Regal, Captain Morgan rum and Glenlivet malt, is being auctioned off following the group’s merger with French media company Vivendi.

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