First Drinks to drive £50m into brands

28 May, 2010

First Drinks is planning to invest £50 million in its portfolio of brands this year, with Glenfiddich the number one priority.

A new advertising programme for Glenfiddich will go live in the run up to Christmas, which will be a “break from tradition”, said James Stocker, marketing controller for dark spirits.

“We’re relaunching the web-based explorers programme in June which engages with our target consumers,” he added.

A new website for the whisky brand will encourage two-way conversations, which will give users the chance to talk among themselves, in a bid to “harness how social networking has developed”, Stocker added.

There will also be a focus on Father’s Day on June 20, the company said, as it is “smack bang” in the middle of the World Cup this year.

Sales director John Hyman said: “During the football it gets challenging for spirits, as traditionally it’s all about beer, crisps and soft drinks. We’re making sure spirits aren’t forgotten.”?Malt whisky for Father’s Day is worth £10.6 million in the supermarkets and of June’s malt volume, 40% is sold in the three days before, according to Nielsen.

The company said summer drinks also represented an “exciting portfolio growth opportunity” and has launched a campaign to promote summer drinking of spirits with the strapline Get in the Spirit.

First Drinks is also trialling new fixtures where malt whisky is merchandised by a single four-point flavour scale to make it easier to understand.

It said a new 17 Year Old Limited Edition Balvenie will be released, and its Monkey Shoulder brand was looking to be involved with the Big Chill festival, following last year’s presence.

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