The new cultural moment that brought Drambuie back to the (dinner) table

Drambuie, the Scottish honeyed whisky liqueur, launched its highest-profile fully integrated campaign to date this autumn as part of an exclusive partnership with best-loved TV chef James Martin and his ITV programme, James Martin’s Saturday Morning. The campaign, a collaboration between Space, The Story Lab, Blue Marlin TV and ITV, was centred around Drambuie’s versatility and relevance for the growing at-home entertaining occasion. 

The Context 

Despite good awareness, Drambuie lacked salience in a cluttered category. Its year-round appeal was fading. Often brought out only for Christmas, they needed a fresh approach to break the cycle and re-introduce Drambuie as a versatile spirit that could be enjoyed all year-round.  

They needed to build awareness of when, why and how to enjoy it. 

Interestingly, a new opportunity came from lockdown. As more of us started to elevate our at-home dining experiences, a newfound sense of occasion presented Drambuie with a unique gateway to re-introduce itself.   

Once the restrictions were lifted and socialising was firmly back on the table, people wanted to continue enjoying the ‘dinner party’ experience – surrounded by their (much missed) loved ones. After not seeing friends and family for over 16 months, now was the time to open their doors, pull up chairs, laugh, tell stories, come together, and treat them to something special… 

…and after so long, they wanted to prolong those special moments for as long as possible.  

A Fresh Approach 

Cue Drambuie. We created a campaign that got people to reappraise the brand by giving it a role which was more important than ever. Titled ‘The Taste of Togetherness’ the idea tapped into a new cultural moment and positioned Drambuie as the facilitator (and extender) of the good times that come at the end of the meal. 

The Spanish call it Sobremessa, but we call it ‘The Fifth Course’ – a time for Drambuie to own at every dinner party. 

There is an interesting dichotomy when an evening begins with a little more effort and restraint, but as everyone relaxes in the comfort of their favourite company, an “undo the bow tie” moment occurs. This is the watershed moment that gives permission for our ‘The Fifth Course’ – where we become a little more adventurous and add a touch more party at the end of an evening. It’s the time when main courses are out of the way and cheese platters and sharing desserts fill the table, whilst conversation and laughter fill the air – people begin to relax, loosen up and enjoy each other’s company with no distractions.  

And to truly enjoy the ‘Taste of Togetherness’, we introduced a bespoke serve in our Drambuie Beekeeper’s Honeyed Espresso as the perfect accompaniment to match the warmth of the evening.  

The Campaign 

The campaign consisted of a brand partnership with TV Chef James Martin. The project ran for six weeks in autumn 2021 and was the first of its kind for both Drambuie and ITV. The hero TVC features James preparing and serving the delicious Drambuie Iced Espresso cocktails for friends and family, positioning Drambuie as the perfect after-dinner drink to extend the enjoyment of wholesome get-togethers. 

The activity reflects a significant increase in investment in Drambuie, and the omni-channel partnership includes a radio ad featuring James, as well as a social and PR campaign including competitions and exclusive recipes created by James and featuring Drambuie as a key ingredient. 

If lockdown has taught us one thing, it’s that every shared moment should be savoured, and Drambuie is the perfect excuse.  

Share this on