Pernod Ricard Eschews Flash for Substance in Ballantine's Ads

Pernod Ricard Says Affluent Chinese No Longer Seek Status Over Enjoyment When Buying Luxury Goods

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SHANGHAI ( -- Pernod Ricard is rolling out a campaign for its Ballantine's Scotch whisky brand that recognizes the evolution going on among luxury consumers in China.

"Status is not anymore the key motivation for luxury purchases," said Pascal Dubreuil, business director of Publicis Worldwide, Shanghai, which handles Ballantine's creative in China. "Enjoyment and taste are the main emotional drivers."

Pernod's Chivas Regal is the leading whisky brand in China, followed by Diageo's Johnnie Walker brand, and Ballantine's in third place.

Ads running in TV, print and outdoor media in Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Suzhou and Hangzhou illustrate the brand's "Leave an Impression" slogan by encouraging consumers to demonstrate distinctive skills in an understated way or through unexpected circumstances.

The TV spot, for example, features a successful Chinese man in his early thirties drinking Ballantine's 17-year-old whisky. At the urging of friends, he accepts a ravishing professional tango dancer's invitation to join her on the dance floor. Through superb dancing, he unexpectedly reveals his talent and flair without the flashy behavior that has been associated with Chinese status-seekers in the past.

"In a suave and eye-catching way, the campaign epitomizes who Ballantine's consumers are, classic, elegant, premium, never showing-off." said Pierre Berard, Pernod's marketing director, China in Shanghai.

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