CROWN ROYAL RIDES CONCERT TIE-IN ONTO RADIO AIRWAVES: WHISKEY BRAND BENEFITS AS 2 SEAGRAM UNITS TEAM UP

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Crown Royal Canadian whiskey will get radio exposure across the U.S. through a country music concert tour co-sponsored by parent Seagram Americas.

The Crown Royal Untamed & True Tour, sponsored by Seagram and sister company MCA/Decca Nashville, will be backed by radio promotions such as ticket giveaways and radio commercials handled by local promoters.

Additional support will include print advertising and an eight-song CD to be given away at on-premise promotions. The disc includes songs from the three artists involved in the 44-city tour: Mark Chesnutt, David Lee Murphy and Gary Allan.

FULLY INTEGRATED PROGRAM

"This is a prime example of a fully integrated program," said Neil Gallo, category director for Crown Royal.

"We've built up equity after five years in country music," said Arthur Shapiro, exec VP-marketing and strategy at Seagram Americas.

Seagram last year supported the Crown Royal brand on TV, becoming the first spirits marketer to break a decades-old agreement against such advertising.

It spent $4.7 million on the brand in 1996-$197,100, or 4.2%, of that on spot TV, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The distiller supported the brand with $1.1 million during the first three months of 1997, with $7,700, or 0.07%, in spot TV.

Seagram and MCA are handling ads in-house; Moore Entertainment, Nashville, Tenn., is the promotion shop.

FIRST MEASURED RADIO SUPPORT

This is the first measured radio support for the brand. Seagram has been pitching its Captain Morgan spiced rum on the medium, and Bacardi-Martini USA and Hiram Walker & Sons, a unit of Allied Domecq, have entered radio as well (AA, July 21).

Crown Royal moved 2 million cases last year, up 8.7% from the 1995, according to Impact. More than half of the brand's sales are in the southern half of the country, according to the distiller.

Seagram has sponsored country concerts since 1993, but this is the largest effort to date and the first one done in conjunction with fellow Seagram Co.

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