Grey Goose details plan to make brand more accessible

Grey Goose is readying its first multi-year marketing campaign to make the super-premium brand more accessible, a move it hopes provides reprieve from the increasingly fragmented vodka category.

The “Fly Beyond” campaign launches nationwide later this month (28 October) and promotes the field-to-bottle provenance of the Grey Goose brand. The vodka maker has drafted in Hollywood director Nicolas Winding Refn to make a short film depicting the origins of the brand and its creator François Thibault.

It attempts to highlight how Thibault’s background as a Cognac master influenced the choices he made when developing the drink. Since it was first introduced in 1996, the Bacardi-owned brand has opted against showcasing its provenance at scale, instead relying on its super-premium status to resonate with drinkers.

Interest from younger drinkers in the craft of alcohol brands is growing, according to Grey Goose, forcing it to adopt a more “extrinsic” approach to marketing its reputation for “exceptional quality”. Where the drink’s “the world’s best tasting vodka” strapline focuses on its premium credentials, the upcoming “Fly Beyond” activity offers more opportunity for drinkers to identify with the brand, the company claims.

The campaign will be supported by updates to the brand’s on-trade merchandise, experiential activity alongside a social media drive to recruit advocates.

Lyle Tick, senior global category director for Grey Goose, says premium vodka has become a bar staple in recent years and consumers are starting to see it as a drink to be savoured. Rival Belvedere has also noticed the shift and has been ramping up its presence across high-end UK bars throughout the year.  

Flavoured vodka and the resurgence of cocktails are currently driving the category and Tick says 2014 initiatives will look to exploit both trends in a “controlled” and “precise” way.

He adds: “We’re operating in a vodka market where people are still buying products but want to know they’re getting value for money. We haven’t articulated our philosophy in the past and have been too inwardly focused with our marketing. “Fly Beyond” allows us to change and tap into their ambitions. We’re using [the strategy] to assert our market leader status on an increasingly fragmented category.”

It comes at a time when the UK’s consumption of the spirit, which currently stands at around 9 million cases, is set to fall by 4 per cent by 2016, according to Vineexpo. Despite the projected dip, premium vodka sales are set to grow over the period.

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