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Hedgehog Hall of Fame: The BIG Partnership/The Edrington Group - Famous Grouse

15th August 2013


Company: The BIG Partnership & The Edrington Group Campaign: The Famous Grouse: Creating the world’s largest bottle of whisky Category: Stunt of the Year - North - WINNER Objective The overall business objective was to increase footfall to The Famous Grouse Experience – the brand’s visitor centre located at the Glenturret Distillery in Crieff, Perthshire. Therefore, the primary PR objective of the campaign was to generate coverage for the The Famous Grouse Experience in national and local press, as well as on TV and radio, that would highlight The Famous Grouse Experience as an attractive tourist destination. The campaign also needed to generate enough interest in the brand for global markets around the world to cover the story, especially as 30 per cent of visitors to The Famous Grouse Experience are overseas travellers. Strategy & Target Audience The Famous Grouse Experience celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012, and to mark this occasion and help drive footfall The Famous Grouse wanted to create an additional attraction that would be on permanent display. As a result, we decided to attempt to break the world record for the largest bottle of whisky ever created. This would provide us with a strong PR campaign but also provide us with a permanent feature in the longer term. The world record attempt would take place on Sunday 12th August, the brand’s birthday, at The Famous Grouse Experience in Crieff. The target audience for the campaign included the local community, UK stay-cationers and overseas visitors. Action The first step was to approach the Guinness World Record team to establish the record we needed to beat. This was held by Jack Daniels, with a bottle holding 184 litres of whisky. The Famous Grouse aimed to break this with a bottle containing 200 litres of whisky. In order to break the record the bottle had to be identical to The Famous Grouse bottle in terms of materials and in scale. Then came the task of finding a company able to create a glass bottle of the size we required. With no UK company able to meet this huge request, the job went to a crystal glass-making specialist, BOMMA. Their job was to create the bottle which, when complete, would stand an impressive five feet and five inches tall , hold the equivalent of 8,000 drams of whisky and weigh in at a quarter of a tonne. In order to generate maximum media coverage in the UK and keep the record attempt in the public consciousness a number of news story opportunities were identified at the beginning of the campaign. Press releases, and where possible strong photography, were issued around each of the following stories: • Announcement that The Famous Grouse would attempt to break the record • First glimpse of the bottle (at production stage) • The bottle arriving at The Famous Grouse Experience • Announcement that the record had been broken On the day of the record attempt, visitors to The Famous Grouse Experience were invited to pour in a litre of whisky. Each of the 200 bottles were numbered with a personalised label, and everyone who participated received a framed photograph. In actual fact on the day it took 228 litres to fill the bottle, and was declared by a Guinness World Record adjudicator then and there, who was invited to attend to oversee the record challenge. A global campaign was launched to run in parallel with the UK activity. A global toolkit was created that provided PR teams in key markets for The Famous Grouse with press releases, photography, film footage and facts and figures about the Guinness World Record and the bottle. . To maintain momentum, a series of replicas of the world’s largest bottle were created and sent around the world to put on display in 5 different markets including: Russia, Holland, Austria, Bulgaria, and Malaysia. Each market devised their own campaign activity which included displaying the bottle in-store alongside a promotion encouraging fans to post ‘a message in the bottle’ for a chance to win a trip to The Famous Grouse Experience in Perthshire. Results The campaign generated 111 pieces of coverage in the UK, including BBC Radio Scotland, Daybreak, STV News at 6, Scottish Daily Express, Scottish Sun, and all regional and local titles reaching a potential audience of over 38 million. Approximately 30 per cent of the coverage appeared before the 12th August to pre-promote the event. The key message analysis (Fig 1) revealed that the majority of coverage carried the correct messaging around the campaign including a relevant quote, mention of The Famous Grouse Experience 10th birthday, mention of The Famous Grouse brand birthday, and emphasised that the bottle would remain on permanent display at The Famous Grouse Experience – an important message to support future footfall.     Figure 1: Key message analysis 75 per cent of print and broadcast coverage appeared in the campaigns ‘Tier 1’ media which was agreed with the client prior to the start of the campaign. Coverage also appeared in international titles in Global Travel Retail. The campaign also succeeded in meeting the business objectives outlined at the start of the campaign. Visitor numbers were up 191 per cent on the previous weekend with over 1200 visitors turning out to see the bottle on 12th August. The sales turnover at The Famous Grouse Experience also doubled, based on the same weekend in 2010 (2011 ruled out as a comparison due to The Famous Grouse Festival which took place that year). The PRmoment Golden Hedgehog Awards 2014 are now open for entries. Here are this years updated categories.

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