Entertainment > Branded Content & Visual Storytelling

RAW CRAFT WITH ANTHONY BOURDAIN

CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, New York / THE BALVENIE / 2016

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Overview

Credits

Overview

CampaignDescription

Today’s Scotch drinkers and next generation consumers prefer the authenticity and quality of artisanal products. The Balvenie connected with them through a shared love and respect for handcrafted products and the people who make them. We forged an unprecedented partnership with celebrity chef and television producer Anthony Bourdain and created a new original online series that led viewers on a journey of discovery, unearthing captivating and emotional human stories of true craftsmanship in America. The ‘Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain’ original film series also paid a visit to The Balvenie’s Scotland distillery to explore the time-honored traditions of craft preserved in their process. Consumers who appreciate and seek products that are truly handcrafted would make a strong connection to the brand and its longstanding dedication to the craft of Whisky making. The series was a natural extension of Bourdain’s sphere of influence while wholly belonging in the Balvenie’s craft world.

Execution

To engage our audience online we created a six-part online film series and content marketing campaign documenting the works of the committed individuals at the forefront of the American craft movement. Over nine months, each episode was teased, released and housed on our bespoke Balvenie ‘Raw Craft’ YouTube channel. The series was teased and promoted through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels of The Balvenie and Anthony Bourdain. We also created and released a series of snackable video content titled, ‘Anthony Bourdain On…’ that brought viewers behind the scenes with candid commentary and additional dialogue and insight from Bourdain on a range of topics from ‘getting better with age’ to ‘when to drink whisky’. A modest media campaign targeted consumers from lifestyle categories outside of traditional Scotch drinkers, thereby extending the reach of the brand among a highly desirable demographic.

Outcome

The campaign resulted in over 27 million completed views. At the height of the campaign, Balvenie consumption was up 40% year over year and up 30% versus category, at a time when the category remained flat. Within six months of the campaign’s start, The Balvenie in the USA had the largest YouTube channel in the liquor business globally. Over 12,000+ unsolicited positive comments underscored the captivating content and expressed a desire for more.

We took a risk by bringing a boisterous and outspoken celebrity known for his disdain for perpetual brand endorsers to a brand known for its tradition and reserved personality. The brand was bold to put itself in the background but there was never any question who was responsible for bringing these compelling stories to life. This unimpeachable content and Anthony Bourdain’s genuine love of craft, meant the world took notice and a beloved original series was born.

Relevancy

Entertainment Lions celebrate creativity that turns content into culture; ideas that are unskippable and cut through. The Balvenie did just that with the series Raw Craft. We engaged legendary chef, author and raconteur, Anthony Bourdain, as well as an award-winning director to create unimpeachable and captivating content that is the talk of the industry. The Brand was integrated subtly, with the focus on storytelling, the human subjects and their craft. Content was released on YouTube and supported with a modest but targeted media campaign.

Strategy

‘Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain’ was created to highlight and celebrate true craftsmanship. The goal of the campaign was to re-affirm The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch whisky as a pioneer and leader in the craft movement, drive brand awareness and affinity, and in turn grow its consumer base. To effectively reach new audiences while thrilling our existing fans we looked to Bourdain, who has become a household name and renowned explorer. Bourdain has never before endorsed a product, thereby amplifying the impact and authenticity of his association. The series introduced audiences to people who choose to do things the old way, or as Bourdain lovingly describes it in the show, “the slow, stupid way.” Each episode incorporates The Balvenie in a subtle, organic way. Neither Bourdain nor the scotch is the star but rather the stories of craftsmanship and the people who keep those traditions alive today.

Synopsis

The Balvenie is the world’s most handcrafted Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and has been made according to tradition since 1892. But these days the term “craft” has become ubiquitous and less meaningful with imitators everywhere, and truly authentic stories like the Balvenie’s have become more difficult to distinguish from the crowd. We sought to help this iconic brand rise above the noise and the clutter to re-establish itself as the rightful owner of true craftsmanship and champion of true craftspeople, distinguish itself from the gathering crowds and appeal to the growing consumer base of younger Scotch drinkers, while expanding awareness of its brand among its target demographics. The Raw Craft campaign aimed to engage and inspire modern consumers looking for real products made by hand with high quality and real dedication, by real people with authentic stories.

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