On the flight north to Edinburgh last week, an appropriate destination given the topic of this entry, I was thinking a little about the launch of Haig Club by Diageo.
Fronted by David Beckham it is, quite clearly, a very engineered product and brand. That's resulted in a bit of, what I think, is unfair criticism. Diageo have been bold in their approach with the clear objective of reaching a younger, more fashion conscious, less whisky centric consumer. This is genuine new productive development and the marketing assets, including the film below, have all been delivered to a brief which reflects that target.
Is the whisky any good ? I've yet to try it but I admire their approach and commitment. All of this contrasts with what jumped out of the in-flight magazine as the breakfast tray was cleared away.
If Diageo had just been awarded an "A for effort" this latest attempt by Bacardi to build equity in their flagship blend, Dewar's, deserves no more than a "Gentleman's C". In their efforts to try and pass off this blend as a single-malt I guess (what's wrong with blends anyway ?!) they have raided their packaging agency of every premium cue available - embossing, gold, cap strips, foils. Rather than elevate what, I am sure, are fine whiskies they have pushed these expressions into the clutter of the single-malt category.
You would be hard pressed to see a more staggering difference in approach. They say fortune favors the bold - in which case my money is on the blue bottle !