Whisky connoisseurs already know the pleasure of enjoying a dram from William Grant & Sons, but what about being able to enjoy all the whisky you want while traveling the world – and getting paid for it? That was the thinking behind Grant’s Whisky’s campaign to find its next global brand ambassador.
A job interview like no other
William Grant & Sons wanted to celebrate the heritage of its original brand, Grant’s Whisky, and reach the next generation of whisky drinkers. So it launched the Greatest Job Interview in the World – a trip where three finalists would spend 10 days in three different countries armed with a suitcase of the whisky.
Between them, the finalists covered more than 51,000 miles, visiting 15 cities in nine countries across five continents, undertaking 20 international flights. They drove a segway around Tel Aviv, tuk-tuk’d across Mumbai, rickshawed across Taipei, and soared by seaplane over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The trip tested the candidates’ ability to embody the brand’s motto – Stand Together – celebrating collective achievement wherever they went. The lucky candidate who landed the job would then retrace the steps of company owner Charles Grant Gordon, who delivered his whisky to the world on an epic voyage back in 1909. In 2018, the new global brand ambassador will visit no fewer than 24 countries taking part in various activations.
Building a thirst
As a starting point, Grant’s asked consumers to create a drink containing three ingredients that would be perfect for the friends they’ve not yet met. They could share the drink on Instagram using #GrantsInterview or apply via the Grant’s website. The field was narrowed down to 20, who were put through their paces at a special event staged at Grant’s Whisky spiritual home, the original family distillery in Dufftown, Scotland.
“The blended whisky category has struggled in recent years to outshine the single malt sector, which is seen as having more prestige. But blends are making a comeback, so we wanted to present the Grant’s brand in a new and exciting light,” explains Steve Richards, from the global marketing team in Richmond, London. “The key proposition of the Greatest Job Interview struck a chord with a younger audience. The fact that a previous distillery owner had made a similar trip 110 years ago made the campaign relevant to the brand.”
William Grant & Sons worked with Cision Distribution by PR Newswire to create a multi-channel news release (MNR) that brought together key assets for the campaign.
This included a detailed explanation of what the company called, The Greatest Job Interview in the World, as well as a video overview, a variety of image assets, and more, all clearly aligned with the company’s branding. Perhaps most importantly, Grant’s, which was looking to spread the word globally, the MNR was available in Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, and Korean, among other languages.
The search for a global drinks ambassador deeply resonated with the readers of many publications. Just over a month after the launch of the campaign, the release was picked up by nearly 540 outlets, for a total potential audience of nearly 170 million people.
“It was fantastic,” Richards says. “We knew we had an exciting headline, but I was really impressed with the pickup and snowball effect thereafter. And the fact that we received 5,000 job applicants from 103 countries was a testament to the campaign’s global reach.”
In addition to all the stories that were written about The Greatest Job Interview in the World, media owners made extensive use of the multimedia assets included in the release. Also, having a release that mixed text, images, and video provided a seamless vehicle for William Grant & Sons to get its story in front of the right influencers.
“It can difficult for a blended whisky to break through the noise,” explains Richards. “Traditionally, you’d have to match the marketing bucks of the big labels. Our way to cut through was to come up with a compelling proposition, while packaging the release and assets in a really user-friendly way and distributing it quickly and effectively.”
The winner was revealed on Grant’s Whisky social media sites, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
— Steve Richards (@Chips11) November 30, 2017