Bacardi USA's Grey Goose super-premium vodka is turning up the heat for summer, with a Facebook-driven engagement campaign supported by a new TV spot featuring a Rolling Stones classic.
The "Reunion" spot -- the latest TV creative variation on Grey Goose's new "Toast" campaign, launched during the 2010 holidays -- began airing on national cable networks on May 16 and will continue to air through the end of September.
The television buy and supporting digital and other media (including streaming video, to commence about a week from now), plus public relations, represent a doubling of ad spending for the brand over last summer's campaign. The campaign strategy is designed to give Grey Goose "the #1 share of voice" in vodka over the summer, according to its brand director, Michelle Beauchamp.
The 30-second commercial from @radical.media, shot in the brand's signature black-and-white cinematography, shows a screen title proposing "A Toast to 'It's Been Too Long'" as elegantly dressed couples meet up in a clearly upscale club/restaurant to enjoy each other's company over chilled bottles that span the entire Grey Goose variety line.
Aside from a voiceover at the end ("Grey Goose -- the world's best-tasting vodka") and some muted club sounds in the background, the spot's only audio is its driving theme song: The unmistakable Rolling Stones classic "Miss You" (although Grey Goose's usage agreement precludes it mentioning the specific band or song in its press releases, interviews or otherwise).
The spot's creative reflects the "Toast" campaign's more "energetic" approach to conveying the vodka's association with celebrating life to the fullest -- and specifically with celebrating by getting together with or reconnecting with friends -- including prominent use of music to establish the tone, says Beauchamp. The brand's previous, long-running "Discerning Taste" campaign (also from @radical.media) used "very little or no music" and focused on the "sensory experiences" of Grey Goose drinkers during typical lifestyle moments (enjoying oysters and Grey Goose during a day of sailing, for example), she notes to Marketing Daily.
The "Reunion" spot also subtly reaffirms the brand's on-premises marketing roots (the launch strategy of now-deceased Grey Goose founder Sidney Frank, who sold the brand to Bacardi in 2004). Beauchamp confirms that Grey Goose has in recent months seen a return to greater restaurant/bar patronage among its core audience.
But "Reunion" also features two firsts: Use of the original recording of an "iconic" song (very carefully chosen to evoke the reunion mood, says Beauchamp), and a title at the end that directs viewers to Grey Goose's Facebook page link (facebook.com/GreyGoose) -- as opposed to the brand's previous practice of directing viewers to its home site.
The brand's completely revamped Facebook area (which currently has more than 260,000 fans) offers multiple "Celebrate the Summer" engagement activities. Those who like Grey Goose there will have access to exclusive branded events, information on how to create their own Grey Goose cocktail recipes, summer home-entertaining tips and -- as of June -- access to an exclusive, branded "It's Been Too Long" app that lets them reach out to and reconnect with friends.
The on-premises/restaurant/bar environment of the TV spot, in other words, is being amply complemented with messaging and activities spotlighting Grey Goose's ability to enhance summer's typically outdoor-oriented social activities -- including "summer soirées" that perhaps employ bottles of Grey Goose available in the brand's special summer picnic-basket presentations.
For the year ending Jan. 23, 2011, SymphonyIRI data showed Grey Goose leading the premium vodka category in the U.S., with sales of nearly $58 million (up 1.2% from previous year). Super-premium vodka category sales as a whole grew 14% last year, reported the Distilled Spirits Council.