If you’re fully embracing Dry January and haven’t touched a tipple since New Year’s Eve, good for you. But look away now. You’re doing so well and there’s no need to flood your brain with temptation. For the rest of you, have you heard of Ginuary? This rule-breaking, alcohol–fuelled, month-long event celebrates all things gin and is a complete antithesis of Dry Jan. Gin is my all time favourite tipple and I’m also a big fan of gin company branding and marketing. Let’s check out the very best of Ginuary marketing.
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of sparkling gin campaigns, it’s important to ask – why Ginuary? And – whatever’s next? Is Wineary or Vodkary in the pipelines or what about Proseccoary? (trademarked here first) Firstly, Ginuary sounds pretty cool and makes for a good hashtag. Indeed, #ginuary has received over 23,000 posts on Instagram to date making it quite the talking point.
Gin has also become ridiculously cool and trendy over the past few years, with gin-based cocktails, fancy gin flavours and delicious mixers being a go-to for hip bar goers and stay at home drinkers alike. From traditional juniper to mandarin, raspberry and candy floss flavour, gin has taken on a life of its own. There’s even gin with coloured unicorn glitter and snow globe effect bottles which shows just how intense the gin trend has got. (actual footage of my gin glitterball!)
To zone in on the stats, it’s anticipated that the gin market will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.9% globally and 14.08% in the UK, from 2021 to 2025. Not bad for a spirit that was once considered ‘quite the old man’s drink’ or in Victorian times “Mother’s Ruin” and the drink of “immoral women”. If only they could see us now.
The Best of Ginuary Marketing
Ginuary makes sense. But what are the gin brands, bars, restaurants and pubs doing to stand out during this relatively new celebration? Let’s find out.
#1 Tanqueray – Ginspiration
Gin. It’s your month to shine. So, what better way to hog the limelight than with #Ginspiration? By posting unique, sophisticated and mouth-watering gin recipes to Instagram, Tanqueray made it difficult for even the hardiest of Dry January fanatics to scroll on by. As well as beautiful imagery with a colour scheme to match specific gin flavours such as Rangpur Lime, Tanqueray posted branded gin cocktail recipes in a crisp, clear font with a super clear making method and alcohol content information. Nice.
Top Tip: Posting useful content that’s not only fun but engaging is a great way to get people coming back for more. Recipes, how-tos, explainer videos and content inspired by days of the week are all hooks for your audience.
And don’t think that Tanqueray’s top-tier pics are a matter of luck. Look carefully and you’ll see how tantalising the staging can become with a little forward thinking. I particularly love how the berry vibe is emphasised by the stunning purple skyline in the picture below. This authentically and cleverly draws attention to Tanqueray’s flavoured gin known as Blackcurrant Royale.
Tanqueray really are masters at marketing right now and are getting many things right in my book. As well as visually appealing social content, their website is crisp, fresh and leaves you wanting more – just like a glass of gin.
Here’s a quick rundown of things I love:
- Stunningly presented cocktail recipes. This offers continuity with their social media pages and makes their gin offering super relevant.
- TEN gift boxes. These come with a QR code which offers the recipient a unique, sensorial experience and the ability to stir up a treat with a cocktail concierge. Immersive, entertaining and highly original, this concept combines a real-life experience with additional digital layering. I’m not gonna lie – I got major FOMO over these gift boxes when I realised they couldn’t be purchased in Europe!
- Bespoke products. When it comes to marketing, the ultimate goal is to be truly recognisable among a crowded market. Tanqueray makes a statement with their handcrafted No.Ten bottle which symbolises premium gin.
- Celebrity influence. After posting a number of behind-the-scenes cocktail making videos to Instagram during lockdown, Devil Wears Prada star Stanley Tucci landed a partnership with Tanqueray in 2021 which was announced in a live stream from Tanqueray’s virtual bar. Such collaborations attract interest and can open up a whole new fanbase.
#2 The Botanist Gin – New Year, New Story
If you thought gin brands would skulk off and let lentils and salads do the talking in January – you’re wrong. They’re unapologetically present, leading Ginuary with innovative storytelling and heart-warming aspirations. Gin has gone way more than being ‘a bit of alcohol in a bottle’. It’s a concept and one that has history. Each brand is different, with The Botanist Gin exploring the art of evolution without losing the comfort of tradition.
Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to document your ideas and thoughts as this helps to draw audiences closer. Share your thoughts and dreams with diary entries, videos from key team members, sneak peek content or creative visions.
I love @thebotanistgin on IG with its Martini Diaries, wild Food and Cocktail highlights. Providing new recipes and inspiration is a great way to keep your audience engaged, gin fuelled and buying more of your brand.
#3 Hendrick’s Gin – Cucumber Chronicles
Hendrick’s takes storytelling to a whole new level with the utterly breath-taking, yet wonderfully bizarre Cucumber Chronicles. Dedicated to the brand’s obsession with cucumbers, this fabulous piece of marketing breaks all boundaries and goes where other brands wouldn’t dare. From the Cucumis Sativus to the Cucumis Metuliferus, Hendrick’s celebrates one of gin’s most awesome accompaniments by striving to nurture and grow some of the world’s rarest cucumbers. And what a clever idea it is. Any brand can talk about their gin flavours. But very few get so creative by going back to nature.
This campaign is captivating thanks to:
- Innovative video content. Meet Leslie Gracie, Hendrick’s Master Distiller who takes cucumber growth very seriously indeed. Her journey to grow the most refreshing cucumber is captured using vintage storytelling techniques and nostalgic references – rotary phones, bright blue eye makeup, black and white photographs, old-fashioned radios and such like. This gives the impression that Hendrick’s haven’t just carved their reputation overnight but reminds us that they’ve been a main player in the gin world for a long time and take great care over their products. At the same time, the video is fun, upbeat and doesn’t take itself seriously at all – the cucumber glasses being a particular highlight.
- Homage to cucumbers. The picture gallery of cucumbers is spectacular and something that really catches the eye. Who knew there were so many varieties?
As a side note – their artwork is so beautiful I could see myself having it as postcard art around my desk. Their Instagram is a must see.
- Acknowledgement of creatives. So often, the masterminds behind a brand campaign get ignored or sidelined. But not this time. Hendrick’s has made a big effort to praise multi-award-winning creative outfit, Compulsory, for their fresh approach to storytelling. The more depth you can give to an idea and a story, the more your campaign will resonate with the humans that buy your products.
Top Tip: Work with people who can see and understand your vision. There are compatible teams out there, it’s just about finding what’s right for you. The same applies to agencies. Find a content or marketing agency that matches and complements your vibe as a brand.
#4 Bombay Sapphire – 1,2,3,4
Christmas might be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a delightful tipple in the New Year. At least that’s what Bombay Sapphire suggests. Often, the simplest marketing campaigns are the best, with this brand’s step by step video guide to the perfect gin being a real winner. While choosing your favourite gin is essential, it’s clear the mixer is just as important these days and should be given consideration. And, of course, you can’t have a gin without some sort of garnish, so it makes sense for this to be step number three. So what’s the fourth step? To enjoy. Obviously.
The Bombay Sapphire website is filled with sippable (yes it’s a thing) content with lots of personalisation options, tours, meetings and events.
Keeping your content fresh and your blog updated will keep readers tuned in to your brand and purchasing your products.
Fever Tree – Splash of Colour
A shoutout to Fever Tree for this really creative campaign for flavoured mixers. By flashing between black and white imagery and coloured imagery, this video emphasises how Fever Tree flavours can brighten up a drink. Again, this is a simple idea, but one which works perfectly with the ‘add a splash of colour’ messaging.
And it’s not just the big brands that are embracing wonderful gin marketing right now. Restaurants and bars have also gone crazy for this trend offering a wide range of offers and deals to attract customers. This is a great idea considering January can be a month of slow spending post-Christmas. This promoter of Yorkshire produce has also recognised the conflict between Dry January and Ginuary by catering to both. Gin can be alcoholic and non-alcoholic after all, so this is a pretty clever angle from Yorkshire Mark. After all, the more choices we have to make at this time of year, the better – right?
Gin marketing really is lovely. But what do you make of the whole Ginuary concept? Are you a fan? Or are these sneaky holiday days and months getting a little ridiculous? Cheers to my fellow Ginuary fans.