Beefeater gin courts women, blacks and younger consumers

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Beefeater gin this week gets a sassy, bold ad campaign designed to add women, blacks and younger drinkers to its traditional audience.

The $10 million print effort, with ads breaking in December issues of magazines, aims to contemporarize the 179-year-old brand among those not yet committed to a particular gin, said Joanne Kletecka, marketing director for Beefeater at Allied Domecq Spirits USA.

"Awareness is high. They know about it, but [they think] it's not quite the brand for them. But now when they see this, they will say it could be," she said.

Ms. Kletecka said four print ads -- showing a beefeater with jacket open to reveal six-pack abs; a black man running forward, top hat falling off; and two ads featuring women -- will appeal to Beefeater's core audience of men 45 and older and the new target of 25- to 34-year-olds.


Only 15% of demand for gin comes from the under-30 set, according to Impact's 1999 annual distilled spirits survey. Its stronghold is 30- to 49-year-old drinkers who constitute 50% of its imbibers. Frank Walters, Impact's director of research, said the diversification toward a younger client base was smart.

"You have to attract younger drinkers because as old drinkers die off and are not being replaced by younger drinkers, sales decrease," he said.

The advertising, from BBDO, Chicago, will run in national publications such as Fast Company, GQ, InStyle, Men's Journal and Wired. Regional print and outdoor will follow in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco.

This is BBDO's first work on the country's No. 2 premium imported gin since attaining the brand from Mezzina/Brown, New York. Mezzina had Beefeater for one year and created the "Live a little" campaign.

Ms. Kletecka said that work was "too generic, not specific to Beefeater. This is what we own."


The new tag is "A bold spirit always stands out"; ads carry drink ideas such as gimlets and gin and tonic.

Ms. Kletecka said this would be Beefeater's first fully integrated campaign, incorporating the advertising into point-of-purchase materials.

The ads, which have a London flavor, are not a response to the London-centric ads for the No. 1 imported gin, Schieffelin & Somerset Co.'s Tanqueray, said Ms. Kletecka. Those ads were launched last spring via Deutsch, New York. She said the Beefeater ads were in the works before that launch and had not been altered in response.

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