Why Glenfiddich chose emotional storytelling through video

By Mairi Clark |

November 4, 2015 | 3 min read

Glenfiddich's global brand manager has revealed he decided to move the brand's 21 year old single malt away from its traditional route of press advertising to video to emphasise the emotional and passionate attitude of whisky drinkers.

Talking about its recent foray into video , the whisky brand's Ifan Jenkins, said that he was keen to create something people would want to share. "We wanted something that told the product story about it being raised in Scotland, but roused in the Caribbean," he said. "We wanted this to be done in an interesting way, that didn't feel like traditional advertising. Something that consumers would enjoy watching and want to share with their friends. Glenfiddich has a number of different brands at different price levels and video was a great way to convey the emotion people feel for the brand."

Martyn Gooding, creative director at Gravity Thinking, the agency behind the two minute long film, said that getting standout was its biggest challenge. "There was a very clear product proposition in the brief; a whisky that has been aged for 21 years and was finished in Caribbean rum casks," he said. "What we needed to do - and what excited us - was the way that we work with Glenfiddich and the way we wanted to challenge ourselves as an agency. Getting standout on the internet in this day and age is not easy. There's a lot out there that people would rather be watching. Connecting with an audience who frankly don't care - even with a passionate brand such as a single malt whisky - was the challenge."

Jenkins believes that the target market for the 21 year old brand is more suited to video and is considering using the science of cymatics in the retail environment. "For those people who enjoy Glenfiddich 21 year old - which retails at around £115 a bottle - they are constantly on the move, so mobile marketing and its use of digital marketing is inherent in their lives," he said. "Doing a digitally led campaign in this case made sense. To use cymatics in a shop environment would be amazing as different music obviously affects what the video looks like. Everyone we spoke to internally was incredibly enthusiastic about us using such a new technique. Glenfiddich's heritage is about pushing the boundaries and doing things differently so the spirit of that has continued for years."

The resulting video - which can be seen here - uses science, music and cymatics to dramatise the effect the Caribbean has on the 21 year old Reserva Rum Cask whisky. Featuring music by Scottish band Franz Ferdinand, the video aims to bring whisky to life in the form of a promo.

"When we went into this we knew that doing a music video was really important," said Gooding. "That really informs the edit as a lot of advertising kind of stops once you hit the key communications you package it up and go. We tried to go further and actually make people care."

At the time of writing, the video on YouTube had been watched over 800,000 times and has received coverage from influential publications such as Mashable and Great Drams.

Content created with:

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Glenfiddich is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky owned and produced by William Grant & Sons in Dufftown, Scotland. Glenfiddich means "Valley of the Deer" in Scottish Gaelic, hence the Glenfiddich logo being a Stag. 

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