United Spirits owned Scotch whisky firm Whyte & Mackay has had an interesting year as it revamped its marketing strategy under a new marketing chief, which is set to lead to the overhaul of its main brand in the coming months through a new branding initiative as it sets its sights on growing awareness and sales in foreign climbs such as Russia and Germany.
The Glasgow headquartered company, which produces two of the world’s fastest growing malts - Jura and The Dalmore, will aim to reposition the brand of its Whyte & Mackay whisky with new creative work later this year after a successful Christmas marketing drive that saw it become the third bestselling whisky slot in the UK and second in it's native Scotland.
This follows a 24 per cent increase in profits being reported by the company last year of £15.4 million, as speculation over the possible take-over by global rival Diageo was rife. Those talks are still ongoing, even as The Drum meets with Cara Chambers, marketing director for the company, and its communications director Rob Bruce to discuss plans for its brands and her first year.
Chambers, who joined just over a year ago, has the responsibility for leading a number of new strategies to strengthen each of the company’s spirit brands, which also includes Vladivar Vodka and Glayva liquer. A marketer for Heineken, having begun her career working for Guinness, she has a history of working across global alcohol brands. In recent months, the company has appointed Parisian marketing agency People We Like in a bid to drive the take-up of The Dalmore brand, although it will continue to work with long standing advertising agency The Union, while the marketing of the Whyte and Mackay brand in Russia has been tasked to Grey Moscow who has been developing a country-specific campaign. Meanwhile, the company's Shackleton whisky packaging won the Chairman's Award at The Drum Design Awardsand Jura whisky also saw a brand refresh begin to hit shelves.
Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze and producers Harvey Weinstein and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.