Club world jumps to KahluaÕs beat

By AdNews | 11 March 2000
On the eve of a five-part special on pay TVÕs Channel [V] showcasing IbizaÕs club culture through the eyes of the Kahlua Kollective Beats competition winners, Kahlua is beginning phase two of its global repositioning campaign, created by alternative marketing company The Shop, to bring younger drinkers to the brand and make drinking Kahlua part of their clubbing experience. Kahlua realised that globally its drinkers had become older, or were only sampling the brand occasionally. It engaged The Shop, which specialises in alternative youth marketing strategies and has worked for brands such as Reebok, Billabong and Siemens, to develop a global strategy for the brand to connect to younger drinkers. Club culture became the platform for a global program to make the brand more relevant to 18 to 24 year-olds. Research from Kahlua showed the brand is associated with fun, rhythm and music. Club culture, based on beats rather than lyrics, is common to youth culture globally and is a perfect environment for ÒdiscoveryÓ-style marketing where a brand can immerse itself in the culture and become part of the experience. Kahlua Kollective Beats was born. ÒWe are very much against the Ôinsert logo hereÕ method of sponsorship or promotion,Ó says Nick Adcock, The Shop director. ÒKahlua brought in The Shop at a very early stage, which made our job much easier. They came in with a very open mind.Ó The program, so far a success in Australia, is being rolled out in the Nordic region, Greece, the US, Canada and other markets in 2001. According to KahluaÕs Aus-tralian brand manager at Swift & More, Jennifer Stephens, the image of Kahlua in Australia is the most advanced of all its markets worldwide, making it the ideal test market of the global program. ÒThe strong image of Kahlua here among 18 to 24 year-olds is due to the ÔDancerÕ campaign created by McSpedden Carey with the tagline ÔDrink the rhythmÕ,Ó says Ste-phens. ÒThat campaign has phenomenal awareness among the target. Also Kahlua has had very strong growth here over the past 12 months, up 10%. This market seemed so aligned to the Kollective Beats concept, it was the best market to implement it in.Ó Its previous tagline was ÒMusic for your mouthÓ, giving the Kahlua brand a long association with music and rhythm. ÒThe Kollective Beats program is drawing on how we have positioned the brand in Australia,Ó says Stephens. ÒItÕs about what works here and leveraging that.Ó The Ibiza theme also fits well with the US tagline of ÒAnything goesÓ. Phase one centred around taking Australian clubbers to Ibiza, the global centre of club culture. In May/June this year, a competition began with an on-premise promotion of the Kahlua Kollective Beats platform. A scratch & win element included Kahlua-branded merchandise prizes, such as CD holders, satchels and T-shirts with the latest designs popular among young clubbers. ÒThe merchandise needed to be current and relevant without the usual cringe factor,Ó says Adcock. ÒWe were successful in designing merchandise that prize winners would actually use. I still see people wearing the T-shirts.Ó A Òmystery drinkerÓ program for bar staff at participating venues gave entry into the major prize draw for the staff if they suggested a Kahlua drink to the Òmystery drinkerÓ Ñ a Kahlua marketer. ÒBar staff are the most influential people in this program,Ó says Adcock. ÒIt was great to get them on side.Ó Ads in street press also ran using subtle branding promoting the Kollective Beats competition. One winner from each of the four capital cities was given an all-expenses paid two-week holiday in Ibiza for themselves and four friends. Kahlua involved Channel [V], inviting a film crew along on the trip to capture the experience, now screening on the pay TV channel. ÒResearch has shown that the trip to Ibiza and the merchandise are very aspirational among the target,Ó says Stephens. According to Stephens, results so far show significant sales lifts in participating venues, and the brand is tracking as ÒpopularÓ and Òfor me and my friendsÓ. ÒThere has been a lift in the energy of the brand, which has been higher than expected,Ó says Stephens. Phase two is beginning in selected venues this month, coinciding with the airing of the Ibiza experience of the competition winners. Kahlua is bringing the Ibiza experience downunder. ÒThere is now a flow-through occurring in Australia that we are seeing, with the Ibiza CD compilations starting to filter in. ItÕs great timing,Ó says Adcock. The focus of phase two is a tour of capital cities by UK DJ Paul Tong. An on-premise promotion gives Kahlua drinkers the chance to win VIP tickets to the events. With every purchase of a Kahlua drink, consumers receive a keyring with a ÒPeel & winÓ device on it. Prizes include tickets to the events, as well as other merchandise. Light boxes, banners and posters and other POS material, such as Kahlua menu cards, will promote the event in venues. This will again be supported with ads in street press. Phase two uses the same futuristic fonts and logos, such as the headphone device, but with a different background colour to indicate that it is the second phase. Again, the focus is on imagery, with photos of clubbers, DJs and the clubbing experience. Menu cards, says Stephens, are a continuation of an ongoing program to broaden delivery of Kahlua beyond milk-based combinations, by suggesting shots, Black Russians and Kahlua lime and soda. ÒWeÕve been driving different ways of drinking Kahlua even before the Kollective Beats program, aiming to make it more energetic and appealing.Ó At the events featuring DJ Pete Tong, the Kahlua branding will be subtle, with emphasis on the experience rather than the product. ÒWe want these parties to become legendary,Ó says Adcock. ÒWe hope people will be talking about them for a long time after the event.Ó, a web site supporting the program, is now live. Currently information-based, Kahlua hopes to evolve it to become a global clubbing portal with e-commerce capabilities. Stephens says KahluaÕs commitment to Kollective Beats is long term. ÒKahlua Kollective Beats is a brand we are now trying to establish. We know it takes a while to establish it and hopefully next year weÕll be able to leverage it even more. ItÕs a strong platform thatÕs true to the brand, and now itÕs being cemented in the minds of our target.Ó

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