Direct mail case study: Pernod Ricard pushes for exquisite taste

Whitewords was commissioned by Pernod Ricard Singapore to design a brand experience starting from collateral development to managing the art direction for a series of exquisite launch-tasting sessions of Aberlour’s full range of double cask matured whiskies – 12-year-old, 16-year-old, 18-year-old – and cask-strength A’bunadh which were conducted by its local brand ambassador, Kamil Foltan (head bartender, Tippling Club).

Through extensive in-depth research on Aberlour’s rich history, heritage and legend, Whitewords conceptualised a series of handcrafted collaterals and materials to highlight the scent and taste of Aberlour, bringing out the artisanal values of the whisky.

Drawing inspiration from the enigmatic and intriguing character of Aberlour, which in Gaelic means “mouth of the chattering burn” (stream), we wanted to bring across the brand’s honest and quiet confidence from the elements used to develop Aberlour, while paying homage to the true craftsmanship and prestige of this spirit.

The wooden invite block was the first collateral to reach guests – signifying the start of the Aberlour journey that was inspired by the beautiful Speyside of Scotland.

With a printed map of Aberdeen, the region where Aberlour originates, wrapped around the invite to somewhat symbolise a mystery map and tied with a red ribbon – a subtle brand accent of Aberlour.

Securely sealed together with a customised golden Aberlour wax seal showing the iconic Aberlour Oak Tree and Well, all these elements encompassed the beginning chapter of the enigmatic tale of Aberlour.

Colours in the Aberlour palette were used in all the collaterals, where they were inspired by the brand essence of “a fount of richness, generosity and honesty”. The warm earthy tones of brown and cream represented the generosity of nature and the richness of the whisky. Gold was used to give luxury cues, while red gave a contemporary luxury hint.

Considered typography for the invite and other accompanying tasting collaterals (specially made leather coasters gifted in their own special drawstring pouch, and tasting notebook with information) was another opportunity to create a standout and to visually reinforce the artisanal expertise at the heart of the brand.

Inspired by the original ledger books from 1890 (Aberlour was established in 1879), the intent was for the typography to clearly share facts and details of this carefully handcrafted luxury spirit and the alchemy of its creation.

As the story unfolded, we introduced the individually hand-cut Aberlour “secret” book, where within the book laid an Aberlour 12-year-old miniature sample. Just as the family motto of James Fleming, who built the Aberlour distillery in the 19th century, says, “Let the deed show” – this “secret” book invited readers to discover the story simply by savouring it.

Over five sessions of trade mentoring from bar professionals to wine shops, the media to high-net-worth individuals, Whitewords took charge of creating an experience taking the guest from the point of receiving the invite (handmade wooden block sealed with wax) to the tasting session where the tasting ingredients and Aberlour-inspired pieces were artfully directed.

  • Objective

Conceptualise a fresh set of collaterals as well as design tasting experiences to launch the Aberlour full range of double cask matured whiskies in Singapore.

  • Target audience

The guests invites included professionals such as bartenders and wine retailers, as well as local media from trade publications, lifestyle magazines to a daily newspaper.

  • What was the result?

Ninety-five per cent of guests who received the invite attended the tasting sessions.

The writer is Jacke Tan, creative director of Whitewords.

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