Video is exclusive to members, sign up now to enjoy this and many other features.

Communicating with Millennials

Former Chief Marketing Officer at Bacardi & Walgreens Boots Alliance

IP Interview
Published on April 12, 2020

Why is this interview interesting?

  • How Bacardi integrated offline and digital channels to deliver the heritage of the brand to millennials
Executive Bio

Andy Gibson

Former Chief Marketing Officer at Bacardi & Walgreens Boots Alliance

Andy began his career at Diageo in 1999 where he was primed in the Diageo Way of Brand Building and led various different spirit brands across different continents. In 2011, he joined Carlton United Breweries, the leading beer company in Australia, as Chief Marketing Officer where he led the revival of the VB brand. In 2013, Andy joined Bacardi as CMO where he managed the global brand portfolio including Bacardi, Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire generating revenue of over $4bn. In 2015, Andy joined Walgreens Boots Alliance, the $26bn revenue global pharmacy, where he led the Global Brands Portfolio.

Interview Transcript

How did you look to tell the story of the heritage, to young people?

That’s a terrific question. We couldn’t just say, hey, here’s our story. We set about building a hugely creative and engaging way, to bring to life that story. A way that would engage millennials and have millennials actually want to share it and say, hey, wow. So there’s two things. I touched on them earlier, but I’ll make them super clear.

The first is, we did make, what I would call, traditional communication, that was filmed in Brazil. Very edgy, set to an Arctic Monkeys soundtrack. The Arctic Monkeys were very, very big at the time. It was a beautifully told story, told in a visual, cinematic methodology, with a soundtrack that was relevant and engaging for our consumer, which we then ensured that we showed through the relevant channels. But we then took that to the next stage, where we ran this event. Bacardi is from Cuba, so we did it down in Latin America, in the Bermuda Triangle. It’s always been surrounded by mystery, the Bacardi brand. So we ensured that the location was mysterious and engaging.

We put on acts that helped us story and helped us bring our story to life. Then, of course, as I say, we ran a social media strategy that ensured we got so much content being pushed out of that. By the way, it was consumer generated content, that was on brand, pushed out of that event, that changed perception.

How do you think about changing your messaging across different channels and how did you use that at Bacardi? You mentioned various different channels – the events, social media. How do you look to alter the message that you send across these channels?

This is extremely important. For young marketeers, I think there’s an understanding that’s required here. At the moment, people are still saying that digital is everything. How do we go digital? Digital is a channel. Streaming is a channel. Radio is a channel. Social media is a channel. The key strategic piece of work that needs to be done, is what I call, connection moment planning or moment of influence planning. That is understanding, what is the message that you can say, through a given media, that’s going to connect at the right time, for your consumers and have them say, wow; I’m going to consider that.

I’ll share a little story, which might bring this to life, which is a personal story, which I think is simple, in terms of connection moment planning. I used to play golf very, very badly. I played in a club and for our upcoming game, we were informed that we were the first group off the tee. In other words, we were the first to hit off, very early morning, to play golf. What that meant was, that I was going to have a lineup of guys, watching me tee off. I was bad at golf and that made me as nervous as I could be. So I’m driving to the golf course, that morning and all I’m thinking is, I just want to hit it straight and I just want to hit it long. That’s all I want to do. As I pulled into the golf club, there was an outdoor billboard, on the roof of the pro shop that said, Top Flight golf balls, straighter and longer than you’ve ever hit before.

I said, wow, I wonder. As I walked into the pro shop, to pay my fees, there was a little display of golf balls: ‘Top Flight golf balls. Longer and straighter than ever before’. I bought two boxes, there and then. This is a guy who used to buy his golf balls, second hand, at a dollar a ball. I think I paid $750 for two boxes or something, because they got me. It was the right message, they understood me. The right medium, at the pro shop. At the right time, just as I was about to tee off. The punchline of that story is, I did line up with my new Top Flight golf ball. I teed off and it was a scrubber, along the ground and into the bush and everyone laughed at me. But anyway, Top Flight got me.

Sign up to test our content quality with a free sample of 50+ interviews

Copyright Notice

This document may not be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means including resale of any part, unauthorised distribution to a third party or other electronic methods, without the prior written permission of IP 1 Ltd.

IP 1 Ltd, trading as In Practise (herein referred to as "IP") is a company registered in England and Wales and is not a registered investment advisor or broker-dealer, and is not licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice.

In Practise reserves all copyright, intellectual and other property rights in the Content. The information published in this transcript (“Content”) is for information purposes only and should not be used as the sole basis for making any investment decision. Information provided by IP is to be used as an educational tool and nothing in this Content shall be construed as an offer, recommendation or solicitation regarding any financial product, service or management of investments or securities.

© 2024 IP 1 Ltd. All rights reserved.