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June 14, 2023 | 5 min read

The campaign won in the Food & Beverage category at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023.

Balvenie is a 131-year-old single-malt whisky from a tiny town in rural Scotland. To drive brand awareness, it released ‘Quest for Craft,‘ a digital series starring zeitgeisty musician/producer/author/filmmaker Ahmir ‘Questlove‘ Thompson.

Now in its second season, the series continues to peel back the curtain through new perspectives, unveiling the deep intrinsic human values at the intersection of craft and creativity within some of the most successful and influential makers.

The Brief

The objective of ‘Quest for Craft‘ was to drive impactful brand awareness and relevance with consumers as the most handcrafted of whiskies, laddering up to Balvenie‘s vision to be the leading discerning luxury single malt whisky and delivering on its brand promise of ultimate craftsmanship.

The Idea

To deliver on this, the team created and launched ‘Quest for Craft‘ in 2021: a disquisitive new digital series exploring the convergence of craft and creativity, hosted by bestselling author, cultural icon and scholar of creativity Questlove. The ‘Quest for Craft‘ digital series explores the often-obsessive human attributes possessed by those on the never-ending journey of taking something from great to exceptional.

In each episode, Questlove and a creative peer have a free-ranging conversation exploring an issue around craft. Themes have ranged from chaos to the passage of time to the tension between technical perfection and personal expression. Guests have included Patti Smith, Michael Che, Kenan Thompson, Malcolm Gladwell and more.

Episodes explore each theme in unexpected ways, from the craft of being an astronaut to a mathematician explaining the creative merits of chaos. Now approaching our third season, the series is proving to be a dazzling success, driving lifts in brand awareness with luxury whisky drinkers, while affirming the brand’s credibility and infusing it with relevance for younger, culturally aware consumers who value creativity.

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The Results

The series has exceeded expectations, with 2022 brand volume sales up 5.2% from the prior year and over 43 million in unique reach. Long-form content was at 8.5% VCR, versus a 1% YouTube benchmark. The VCR of the 30-second series trailer was 72.1%, compared with a 59% benchmark, YouTube MIQ VCR hit 53%, compared to a 20% benchmark.

Finally, the brand saw a statistically significant lift on key measures among luxury whisky drinkers.

This campaign won at The Drum Awards for Marketing Americas 2023. Find out more about The Drum’s Global Awards program or head to our case studies hub to read more award-winning stories.

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