We all have heard the advertisements about ‘men will be men’, and it goes without saying, we all love them. But despite how entertaining an ad is, we sometimes fail to recognize what exactly is the brand selling here. Imperial Blue is a brand that sells whiskey. It was started in 1997 by its parent company, Seagram.
When the company first started its business, it was marketed as a whiskey to the country of India. However, in the year 2000, advertising alcoholic beverages got banned. That is when Seagram was bought out by the British liquor giant Diageo and Pernod Ricard in 2001, and the latter took sole ownership of Imperial Blue’s entire operations.
The ban in the advertising made Imperial Blue think out of the box and that gave rise to the infamous ‘men will be men’ phrase. The first ad film that we saw was back in 2011, and the company took off ever since, sponsoring various events such as music festivals and sporting events throughout the country.
The reason behind these ad films being made this way is that the holding company for Seagram’s distilled brewery business, Pernod Ricard’s tagline over the years has been to showcase how men behave when they are around women. Let it be men or women watching the ad films, everyone just has one reaction, ‘this happens’.
Confident men take on life with optimism, is what the campaign is based on. According to the brand, it is a key human insight and also it cuts across genders, ages, geographies, and even races, and provides simplicity in its idea and execution.
As mentioned above, Seagram’s Imperial Blue was launched in 1997 and targets men between the ages of 25-35 years with its retable storylines on how men act around women, such as offering their seats if they see a woman stand, sucking in their stomachs or even fixing things they don’t know how to.
One more reason for the success of Imperial Blue is that, according to many reports, India has been the largest consumer of whiskey for quite some years. Last year alone, Indians consumed more than 50% of whiskey that was produced worldwide.
The assistant vice president (marketing) of Pernod Ricard India, Raja Banerji shared his views on the campaign, saying, “It is a very light-hearted campaign which has not only helped us connect with our target audience in a lively manner, but has also helped the brand grow.”
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Making use of the success of their campaign, in the year 2011, Pernod Ricard launched a 70-minutes long movie which was called ‘Men will be Men’, no surprise there. It starred TV actors Gaurav Chopraa, Rajesh Kumar, Rohitt Khurana, Zeenal Kamdar, and Rahil Tandon, to capture the lives of four young men, played by the four male actors mentioned above. This was a very smart marketing move as TV does not have any restrictions to showcase any liquor advertisements or content.
This briefcase study on the Indian whiskey brand Imperial Blue was aimed to talk about the Imperial Blue success story and how they used their marketing campaigns to become the brand they are.