For those in the industry, a Liquor account provides the opportunity for advertising in it’s purest form: reinvention of the old into the new and the rejuvenation of stodgy into sexy. It’s also a product where the power of the brand is all consuming; either your customers feel the brand represents them, their image, their personal taste, or not.
Face it, you’re not going to win sales with “It gets you just as drunk for a nickle less.” Liquor is sophisticated, dangerous, alluring and grown up. Lines like “tastes great, less filling” or three frogs saying your company’s name doesn’t necessarily speak to the sleek bohemian crowd who stock their bars with commodity liquors to make mixed drinks. One of the best examples of how an agency took a spirit brand to new levels was Chiat/Day with their game changing campaign for Absolut Vodka, where the bottle became a piece of art and the pinnacle of taste.
All this bar talk ultimately brings us to Frangelico. Their packaging looks like it came out of a 17th century monastery (it’s supposed to) and is flavored with hazelnuts (which came from monks in the North of Italy). This is a product that needs to establish its place in the market and find a new audience, so their PR department chose a hail-mary: “The Pitch” for a paid one hour commercial with drama thrown in. Looking over their existing mediocre ads it’s no surprise they are looking for a new agency. Take a look at this video, for example:
Hazelnut liqueurs aren’t something you buy with the frequency of vodka, rum, beer or wine. They are something special that you typically drink in small quantities or mix into fancy drinks with chocolate swirls and exotic toppings. By Frangelico’s own account, their product is a mixer, one that benefits from being combined with things like coffee. Considering American coffee culture is booming, there is an opportunity to grow the market for Frangelico with young connoisseurs. If only coffee shops and ice cream stores in the US could toss booze into their product lines like in Europe without the license from the State Frangelico would really be in business…
The assignment seems simple enough. The preview video talks about building audience with females, ages 25-44. They’ve named her Molly.
Looking over the sites: Kovel/Fuller has The Pitch all over their site, including two teaser videos.
And one that defies all reason:
As for the Ad Store, we’ve already gotten to know them in episode 2 where they had the right campaign but ended up losing. At the end of that show, they told us that the Ad Store would live to see another day because they’ve landed a big account. Could Frangelico be that account? Our guess is: yes! Paul Cappelli, the ECD of the Ad Store has proven to us that he understands the power of a simple line to sell an idea. Paul lives in the world of the big idea. The Ad Store still hasn’t put “The Pitch” all over their site or wasted energy on self promotion. They appear to get down to business and get the job done.
However, our predictions have gone 0 for 4 on the client picks so far, so if you’re using this to make book then you should probably bet on the other guys.
One thing we can almost guarantee is that this season will be the first and last for “The Pitch” in its current configuration. The formula they are using to edit this program is killing off the audience faster than these pitches that are being produced. Ad Age reports viewership is almost non-existent.
However, we will be watching on Monday morning, and as always we’ll be making a video review. Cheers to the Ad Store, hopefully Frangelico will buy into the big idea people.