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Communicating with Millennials

Andy Gibson
Former Chief Marketing Officer at Bacardi & Walgreens Boots Alliance

Learning outcomes

  • How Bacardi integrated offline and digital channels to deliver the heritage of the brand to millennials
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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.Read more

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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?

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