Case study: Southern Comfort

In a bid to move away from advertising its New Orleans heritage in the UK, in 2012 Southern Comfort’s new agency Wieden+Kennedy created the TV spot ‘Beach’, showing a confident middle-aged man striding down the beach in just his swimming trunks holding a glass of Southern Comfort.

It was part of the brand’s ‘Whatever’s comfortable’ campaign, which launched in November last year and aimed to revive the brand and resonate with young adult drinkers.

“Are they really buying into the heritage and where the brand comes from or are they looking for something that can more define them and make a statement about who they are?” asks Southern Comfort’s marketing manager for the UK and Ireland, Gwen Risdale.

Last year the ‘Whatever’s comfortable’ campaign caused a 500 per cent spike in popularity on the brand’s social media pages and received more than 1.5 million online views. This was unexpected for Risdale: “It was my first year working in the UK coming from South Africa, where as a country and market we are not that digitally advanced. Seeing the power of digital and how a campaign can become viral using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter surprised me.”

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