We don’t want to be in ads, we want to be in content: Anmol Gill, Bacardi

Anmol Gill Bacardi

In conversation with Anmol Gill, discussing Dewar’s marketing strategy and how the alcohol brand leverages content as a vehicle for engagement.

Anmol Gill, Senior Brand Manager – India and South East Asia, Bacardi India leads brand engagement and consumer marketing for the Whisky portfolios, consisting of brands such as Dewar’s, and William Lawson’s.

While discussing Dewar’s marketing strategy, Anmol Gill states, “We don’t want to be in ads, we want to be in content.”.

She asks, “While watching a piece of content, do you skip an ad?” “I always skip an ad”, I exclaim. “You run to skip an ad right”, she quips. Direct advertising, in-between content is also something they don’t look at.

Anmol explains there is always a tension, kind of a knot in the consumer’s head and the brightest of marketers look for that knot. When that tension is solved with the campaign broadcasted, “that’s when your brand is good”. She adds, “The tension that circles scotch is that it has to be smooth and double-aged means extra smoothness, so that’s what we’re pegging”.

On Content Strategy

Throwing light on their content strategy, Anmol says food is the pillar they choose to activate their brand on, other pillars being music, comedy, and social media. She believes Food cuts through all ages and genders. Especially with the wave of Masterchefs and #FoodPorn, food channels gain high engagement on Instagram with the highest number of shares and comments. Brand Dewar’s finds a base niche with the growing trend towards food romanticizing.

Dewar’s associated with Gobble’s food show called ‘You Got Chef’d!’. The show brought together personalities such as Mithila Palkar, Shibani Dandekar, Sumit Vyas, and celebrity chef, Kelvin Cheung indulging in cooking street-style versions of their favorite dishes and cocktail making.

“People take down recipes, they get to see their banter and there is cocktail making so you have the brand Dewar’s in it. It portrays Dewar’s as a fun approachable scotch,” Gill explains.

Dewar’s also associated with a show called Social Media Stars. When asked what does this strategy looks like going further, Anmol shares that the liquid being double-aged makes it a great-selling proposition and their brand strategy is to populate the ‘double is better’ messaging throughout.

“You’ll see a lot of opportunity content” where the communication of the double aged scotch comes alive.

The talk show ‘Social Media Star With Janice’ hosted by Janice Sequeira, pairs up internet sensations and celebrities (double is better). The show featured various personalities such as Bhuvan Bam, Karan Johar, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Kartik Aaryan and Kusha Kapila.

In an association with Rannvijay Singha, Dewar’s created a Vlog on his trip to the Home of Dewar’s – Aberfeldy, Scotland, highlighting what goes behind the making of Dewar’s whisky, and sight-seeing with celebrity chef Ranveer Brar and Jeet Rana.

Also Read: Interview: Print advertising for us is becoming more and more irrelevant: Gautam Dutta, PVR Cinemas

On leveraging Music as a pillar…

Alike Food, Music is another important pillar for the brand. Bacardi House Party, Bacardi Music Cds, Bacardi being the title sponsor for NH7 Weekender and Dewar’s also being associated with the music festival for more than a decade gives a glimpse of this strategy.

Gill says Bacardi has created a space in music starting from Bacardi Blast days and now Weekender but with brand Dewar’s, there are three pillars: Food, Music, and Comedy, and food will be at the forefront with music whenever chance be.

On partnering with NH7 Weekender

During the initial phase of brand Dewar’s, ‘The Dewarists’ stage was a prime installation at the music festival and now the brand has ventured into The Doer’s club, and the stage we see now.

Gill mentions that the festival gives them a good opportunity to engage with consumers and to showcase their products. The association with The Weekender puts Dewar’s at the forefront of all the people who come and visit NH7 Weekender.

“You cannot not have a scotch that is not Dewar’s at NH7 Weekender. We look forward to keep doing it.”

She says with the Dewar’s club, they are able to accomplish a few important objectives, one, they’ve tackled the pronunciation of the brand, a lot of people mispronounce it. “It’s a Scottish brand and a family name, its Dewar’s and not Deewar.” She also adds that the experiences involved such as gourmet street food, some games, are easy, fun and not intimidating.

Anmol Gill Bacardi

Anmol Gill Bacardi

On Marketing Platforms & Mix…

As brands producing alcoholic beverages have quite a few restrictions, social media platforms give that leverage to cater to age-appropriate audiences. Anmol reckons, as at Bacardi they keep the consumer at the heart, instead of ideating a strategy, they observe what the consumer is doing.

“We segregate consumers as to what my target audience is watching as per demographics to digital and other platforms”, Gill states.

Currently, they are looking to target Tier 1 cities and as Tier 1 resonates more with social media, Netflix and other such platforms, they are penetrating those platforms. As the frequency/reach of television is increasingly more in Tier 2 and Tier 3, the brand will come on to television as and when the brand starts penetrating into those areas. “It’s not about where we want to do advertise, its more about where the consumer is going”.

On Brand Social Media Strategy

The brand leverages micro-content platforms like Tasty and Gobble. “We see where we get the maximum reach, what kind of content they’re already doing, what is the consumer like, what do they watch, when do they watch? Basis that we choose our content platforms”.

On Content Distribution Machinery

After producing a piece of content the brand determines the distribution of the content based on the segregation of their targe audience, “In Tier 1 there is more engagement on IGTV, so we put our content there, YouTube is majorly for long-format content, it is suitable for Tier 2 cities, Facebook content is deeply penetrated in Tier 2 and satellite towns.