The Glenlivet sets the record straight

The Corby brand is looking to rehabilitate scotch whiskey's stodgy, elitist reputation.


When you think of a scotch drinker, does out-of-touch white-guy-in-a-suit Ron Burgundy come to mind? If you believe he’s the embodiment of the whiskey fan, then The Glenlivet has some news for you: single malts are not only for members of the “old boys club” – and the brand has a new campaign to prove it.

The Corby-owned brand recently launched a screen test-style video that aims to debunk the stereotypes that many still associate with scotch, and make single malts more approachable, welcoming and inclusive.

In the Instagram and Facebook spot, consumers from all walks of life read cue cards describing the typical scotch enthusiast, such as a grey-haired, high net worth golfer-type or those suave Type A personalities like Mad Men‘s Don Draper.

Maritza Noriega, senior brand manager for The Glenlivet, says that the brand had been working to change perceptions of the libation for a while, especially among women, but decided to take an even broader approach by including a more diverse group of consumers that include different racial backgrounds, ages, sexual orientations and lifestyles.

Another struggle scotch whiskeys face is that they’re seen as primarily for special occasions like Christmas or birthdays, with most choosing to drink it “neat.” The spot tackles these stereotypes by speaking about the different ways to enjoy scotch, showing the drink in other formats like cocktails, which is perhaps more appealing to a less traditional whiskey drinker.

Noriega says that, combined with J.P. Wiser’s and Jamieson, whiskeys represent a very important volume sales segment for Corby’s, with single malt scotch whiskeys being a popular choice during the holidays.

During the pandemic year, Noriega says The Glenlivet took a social-first approach to speak to consumers while they spent more time on their screens and indoors. In previous years it would have focused more on OOH, she says, so the brand has spent less on advertising overall this year.

The Glenlivet worked in partnership with production agency Mad Ruk Entertainment, with support from Mint Agency. The video series will be promoted on social from December 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021.