While still the country's No. 1 premium Scotch whisky, the 12-year-old blend has seen sales slide since 1990 when it outsold second-place Johnnie Walker Black. Today, rather than the 250,000-case lead it boasted then, Chivas leads Johnnie Walker Black by a mere 45,000 cases. By next year, the two Scottish imports could be running neck-and-neck, with Chivas trailing by 2001, according to industry newsletter Impact.
Chivas Regal marketer Seagram Spirits & Wine Group is looking to the global campaign launching today to halt its slide. The "When you know" work created by TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, evolved from TBWA's 18-month "Dialogue" campaign, which ended last month.
"Over the past year, Chivas Regal has been growing in the key markets of New York, Miami, Dallas and Houston. And there's been good news from other U.S. markets. We expect the 'When you know' campaign to further fuel that growth," said Joseph Tripodi, chief marketing officer for Seagram Spirits & Wine Group.
The "When you know" work continues to target what Mr. Tripodi calls "the newly grown up" man, in his late 20s to early 30s, coming into his own professionally and personally.
Said Tom Nicholls, TBWA's worldwide account director for Chivas, " 'When you know' [is] when you get to a point in your life where you are more confident. When you get it."
The campaign will run abroad, in Brazil, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Thailand.
STILL A CONTENDER
Despite its sales slide, Chivas isn't ready to fall off the $1.4 billion scotch shelf. With 1998 volume of 495,000 cases, it sells almost as much as the whole domestic single-malt scotch category, and ranks fifth among blended scotches, according to Impact.
Last year, Chivas Regal spent an estimated $5.7 million on measured media, down 3.4% from 1997.
Mr. Tripodi refused to comment on spending for the current campaign.
"If you know you've got something [that works], you want to put horsepower