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Courvoisier targets I Don’t Know drinkers

Maxxium UK is encouraging new consumers into cognac by targeting those who don’t know what they want to drink when they reach the bar. Customers who haven’t made up their mind will be offered the bar’s I Don’t Know Courvoisier cocktail.

Bartenders from 47 selected bars across the UK, including Edinburgh’s Tigerlilly, London’s Deuce and Brighton’s Blanch House, are taking part in the I Don’t Know initiative. Training, led by mixologist Ben Leggett, includes an in-depth tasting of Courvoisier and an interactive cocktail session during which participants create and name their signature I Don’t Know serve.

Consumers will be driven to participating bars via a high impact advertising campaign offering them a complimentary cocktail. Advertising features communicating the mixability of Courvoisier Exclusif and the I Don’t Know concept will run in UK national magazines GQ and Wired and The Observer and Evening Standard newspapers throughout September and October.

All advertising will direct consumers online to a list of participating bars and allow them to obtain a voucher for a free cocktail, sent to them by text. The Guardian newspaper will also run adverts on the front and back pages to publicise six cocktail-making masterclasses held at participating outlets that readers can attend.

Maxxium UK’s marketing manager for Courvoisier, Janice McIntosh says: “The I don’t Know campaign will recruit new drinkers by reaching those who would not normally consider cognac in cocktails and encourage them to break from the norm rather than defaulting to their usual choice. By working closely with bartenders, we will help them to build their cognac knowledge, enabling them to inform and inspire consumers to embrace the category. The activity will benefit the bars through extensive media exposure and by encouraging repeat visits from consumers who enjoyed a memorable experience.”

I Don’t Know bartender training will include an educational film designed by creative agency White Label UK which uses 3D technology to bring Jarnac, the home of Courvoisier, to life for UK bartenders. The film offers an insight into the house style of Courvoisier, its history and an understanding of the craftsmanship behind the brand. The video also showcases Maxxium’s specialist mixologists Wayne Collins and Andy Gemmell, along with industry cocktail experts, who present the art of cocktail making with Courvoisier Exclusif, the marque designed specifically for mixing.

Gold plated glass clips designed by Courvoisier the Future 500 member Lee Broom, known in the trade for his unique bar designs, will be placed onto each I Don’t Know serve which in some cases will be the first time the customer knows they are being served cognac.

Bartenders will be offered fantastic incentives including the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Courvoisier distillery, while consumers can also enter an online competition to join them.

The I Don’t Know campaign may be rolled out to a wider audience next year.

About Maxxium UK Ltd:
Maxxium UK Ltd is part of the global sales and distribution alliance between Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc and The Edrington Group.
Its UK portfolio of premium brands includes: blended Scotch (The Famous Grouse and Teacher’s), malt whisky (Highland Park, Laphroaig, The Macallan, The Glenrothes and Ardmore), imported whiskey (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, Canadian Club, Tullamore Dew), cognac and brandy (Courvoisier and Fundador), sherry (Harveys), port (Cockburn’s), vodka (Stolichnaya), tequila (Sauza), rum (Brugal and Cruzan), liqueurs and specialities (Sourz, Bols liqueurs, Galliano, Vaccari, After Shock, Carolans and Irish Mist)
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1 September 2009 - Felicity Murray