Southern Comfort unveils global ad to bring ‘new dimension’ to offbeat tone

Southern Comfort is making the drink the star of its latest global campaign after previous efforts played up the laid-back lifestyle elements of the brand.

The latest chapter in the brand’s “Whatever’s Comfortable” campaign launches today (18 June), serving up a new twist to its focus on surreal situations. While previous adverts are remembered for featuring a pot-bellied man in swimming trunks and dancing Kung FU master, Southern Comfort’s latest effort puts the drink at the center.

The “Young Gun” Wieden + Kennedy-created ad features a nerdy-looking bartender skillfully manning soda guns to create Southern Comfort chasers for a horde of drinkers. The best part: He does it all without breaking a sweat despite throwing in some snazzy dance moves to Phantom’s “Love Me” track.

Gwen Ridsdale, marketing manager for Southern Comfort UK, says the aim is to further break away from some of the premiumisation the spirits category has come to be associated with in recent years.

Ridsdale adds: “We’ve cultivated a true appreciation for the brand by encouraging consumers to be exactly as they are, rather than pushing them to be something they are not.

“Over the past two years we’ve seen fantastic results for “Beach” and “Shampoo” [adverts] in terms of brand development and audience engagement. It’s vital that we build on the success of these campaigns and maintain the positive momentum. Traditional media provides us with mass reach and new social media platforms deliver strong engagement with millennials, a formula which we’ll be using again in this campaign but with even more investment from a brand perspective.”

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube posts relating to the creative will launch over the coming weeks. Activity will also be hosted on the brand’s portal, which relaunched earlier this year to glean more insights from fans.

Southern Comfort expects the campaign to build on a “high single-digit” sales rise in the UK in the past fiscal year. Owner Brown-Forman is set to beef-up its focus on Europe, particularly in the UK, France and Germany, where demand for brands such as Southern Comfort and Jack Daniel’s was strong in the period. It is currently revamping its distribution channels to support the shift.

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