SOUTHERN COMFORT COURTS WOMEN, ALONG WITH MEN: LIQUEUR'S AD SPENDING DOUBLES TO $8 MIL

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Brown-Forman Corp. hopes a new ad campaign with Southern-style persuasion will have y'all clamoring for more of the country's top bourbon-flavored liqueur, Southern Comfort.

The $8 million campaign, breaking next week, is Southern Comfort's largest, double past spending for the brand. The new tagline: "Add a Southern accent."

The print ads carry recipes using different mixers -- Southern Squeeze, with orange juice; and Southern Cranberry. The brand's b&w logo will incorporate the oranges and cranberries of those featured beverages in those ads.

EXPANDING THE TARGET

The print, radio and outdoor ads target men and women 21-to-34 years old, said Carrie Kleban, VP-global marketing director for Southern Comfort, rather than the previous target of twentysomething men.

Ms. Kleban said Southern Comfort had expanded the ads to cover people already drinking the spirit and was launching a special effort toward female drinkers because "we weren't even getting our fair share of women in that."

Brown-Forman will run page ads in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Entertainment Weekly, Playboy and Rolling Stone. Radio and outdoor will run in 22 markets around the country, Ms. Kleban said.

A radio teaser campaign kicked off in mid-August.

The marketer hopes the campaign will spark new uses for Southern Comfort, which has seen flat U.S. sales of 1.2 million cases since 1991, according to figures from Impact, an industry publication.

"We're really trying to get the consumer to take a look at it from a different perspective, [show them] how to use the brand in non-traditional ways," said Ms. Kleban. "You can add Southern Comfort to any drink, and it makes the drink taste better overall."

FOUR MORE RECIPES

Four more mixed drinks -- and ads supporting them -- will be introduced in November, including Southern & Cola and the Southern Shag, made with both cranberry and orange juices.

The 125-year-old brand dominates the domestic bourbon-flavored cordial segment, the third-largest after coffee-flavored and cream drinks.

The advertising is the first for the brand by ID8, Los Angeles.

Ms. Kleban said that although ID8 did the work on a project basis, its role would be expanded.

Southern Comfort has been without an agency for about 18 months, when it parted with Hill, Holliday/Altschiller, New York.

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