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Published on: Nov. 16, 2020, 7:18 a.m.
Jack Daniel’s is in high spirits!
  • Wadia: India is a key market

By Lancelot Joseph. Executive Editor, Business India

With Covid-19 disrupting on-premise accounts, the world’s best selling whiskey is reinventing its marketing with its largest global campaign in its history. It has also introducing a new tagline – Make It Count.  “Jack Daniel’s enjoys a cult status and unmatched love in the hearts and minds of consumers across the world and is often ranked among the top 100 most valuable brands in the world. With ‘Make it Count’ we have a long term platform that resonates with consumers, especially in today’s environment, and carries the message of Jack’s bold, independent spirit,” explains Matias Bentel, Chief Brands Officer, Brown-Forman, Jack Daniel’s parent company. “We know that this world class creative will continue to drive the successful globalization of Jack Daniel’s brand,” he adds.

The inspiration for the campaign comes from Mr. Jack’s philosophy that ‘Every Day We Make it, we make it the best we can’. “We know that is how Mr. Jack lived his life and we think these values still resonate today,” explains Siddharth Wadia, Director & GM, IMENA Region, Brown-Forman. “The new creative platform reintroduces Jack Daniel’s to the world in a big, bold way that would create meaning and difference in the hearts and minds of the next generation of consumers. It focusses on the impact on peoples’ lives when they decide to choose boldly and enjoy the ride, much like Mr. Jack did throughout his own life.”

Wadia, based out of the company’s India region office in Gurugram, oversees its entire operations spanning sales and marketing, strategy, finance, supply chain, among others in the markets across India, the Middle East and North Africa. He is an industry veteran with over 19 years of experience.

 Relevant for India

“The new creative platform cuts across cultures and is a simple articulation of living boldly and making the most of every moment,” says Vineet Agrawal, Marketing & Commercial Director, India Area, Brown-Forman. “This, we believe, is relevant for our Indian consumers as well. To bring this to life here, we are using digital extensively as we believe that most of our audiences are on that medium. We are also promoting the campaign at the point-of-sale in certain states to engage with consumers through enhanced visibility and launching special packs designed around the new platform”. 

Agrawal leads the sales & marketing functions for the company in the region of Indian sub-continent and the Maldives. Agrawal, an experienced hand in the alco-bev industry, was with Beam Suntory as Assistant Marketing Manager prior to joining Brown-Forman. Previously, he had also worked with Carlsberg Group.

In India, Jack Daniel’s brand has been growing at consistent double digits over the past few years. “India has been identified as one of the key emerging markets for Jack Daniel’s, given the huge potential for whiskey here and, as we see more and more consumers looking for newer expressions of whiskey and brands they relate to,” adds Wadia.

According to industry research reports, the premium American whiskey category has been growing at a CAGR of over 20 per cent for the last four years, with Jack Daniel’s leading the growth. “We plan to build on this by continuing to educate consumers about the craft of American whiskey and believe that we have the right portfolio in India to target the different consumer tastes and preferences in the country,” discloses Agarwal.

Given the fluidity around how the Covid crisis pans out, it is tough to put an exact number, he adds. “We do expect a pick-up during the festive season, but it might take some time for business to get back to pre-Covid levels”. 

To tap into the festive and gifting occasion, Jack Daniel’s has launched gift packs designed under the new ‘Make It Count’ platform. Apart from that, “we are also bringing the campaign alive across various consumer touch points,” affirms Wadia. “With the on-premise gradually opening, we have also launched some tactical moves in that channel, as consumers slowly start visiting hotels and bars again”.

One big trend that has emerged has been the increase of in-home consumption, as a result of which the importance of retail stores and digital have significantly increased during this period. “We have also seen an increased interest in DIY cocktails and innovative recipes at home and we have launched some online programmes to drive education around the same”, discloses Wadia. 

While there is down-trading in certain sections, “We also see some premiumisation happening as consumers cut down on their planned outdoor spends and look to enhance their in-home experience through premium international spirits,” sums up Wadia.

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