A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
The Jägerbomb (a bombed-shot cocktail) is the vehicle by which the German bitters brand is consumed on an estimated “nine out of ten” occasions in the UK, the brand’s third largest market behind Germany and the US.
But while the UK distributor is keen for the Jägerbomb not to meet an abrupt end, there is a feeling that the serve and its new imitators “water down the brand”.
Nicole Goodwin, group marketing manager of Jägermeister at Cellar Trends said: “The ultimate goal is to swing that balance [between Jägerbombs and Jägermeister shots]. We've never pushed the Jägerbomb but we don’t want to lose the serve, we just want to educate consumers on Jägermeister shots.”
Goodwin said ‘me too’ brands trading off the Jägerbomb cocktail had “eroded brand value” and that soon the serve will have run its course. “Jägerbombs will be replaced by another faddy drink in a few years,” she said.
Central to evolving the brand’s image is a new UK marketing campaign aimed at 25-35-year old males, which starts November 26.
Pivoting on the slogan “It Runs Deep” - which is said to refer to brand’s "emotional connection" with consumers, its 56-herb recipe and brand heritage - the print, billboard TV, cinema and social media campaign is the largest in the brand’s UK history, running into several million of pounds.
Goodwin said Jägermeister’s Christmas period advertising activities equated in size to the traditional festive campaigns of the likes of Smirnoff and Jack Daniel’s.
Billboards, to be displayed roadside and in the London Underground, will see the Jägermeister bottle appear alongside the messages “Give it a Shot” and “Deep Freeze” – references to the brand’s cold shot serve.
Goodwin said she hoped the campaign would run for 5-10 years and that it would gain as much traction as campaigns such as Stella Artois’ “Reassuringly Expensive”.
She said: “This is a first for Jägermeister in the UK and our biggest ever activity of this magnitude in this country, so it is an exciting time for the brand as we really start to connect with out core consumers and highlight the genuine, deep bonds which exist between trued friends.”