How Grant’s Whiskey’s “Ho-Hum” Campaign Became a “High Five” One


How-Grants-Whiskeys-_Ho-Hum_-Campaign-Became-a-_High-Five_-OneIf your direct mail isn’t bringing in the results you’d hoped for, a little look at how one company, Grant’s Whiskey, achieved amazing success might shed some light on how you can do things differently next time.

Despite the popularity of digital marketing via email or social media, direct mail still has a big slice of the action. Getting your message to stand out from others in the mailbox is crucial if you’re to get a good ROI. Here’s a quick run down of what Grant’s Whiskey did right, and how you can grab a bit of that for yourself.

Understand Your Purpose

The Grant’s Whiskey campaign focused on a five-day party aboard a ship, The Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas. The aim of the campaign was to attract attention to the brand amidst all the others available to the captive audience of partygoers. The purpose was clear and simple: make Grant’s Whiskey the coolest drink on board; the one alcoholic beverage everyone wants to be seen drinking. Achieving that goal through the creation of relevant material with great content came next.

Precise Targeting

The campaign honed in on men in their twenties, singling them out as the in-crowd, the ones living the high life who know where it’s at and live for the moment. They’re proud of their lifestyle, their trend-setting habits and their rich, popular, friendship community. In short, they’re the go-getting young bloods at the top of their game. They are also the kind of people who would find a five-day party irresistible, and the glamour of a shipboard cruise party doubly so.

Knowing exactly whom you want to attract will focus your attention on what will attract them. And knowing the what is key to the next step: crafting the offer.

Direct Mail Materials

The Grant’s Whiskey campaign featured:

  • Golden invitation tickets
  • Magic 8 ball to aid in decision making
  • Brotherhood instructions
  • Grant’s Currency

The entire package of well-made and presented materials was designed to create a sense of privilege and exclusive membership.

The genius stroke that encouraged interaction was the inclusion of a list of noble deeds each ‘bro’ could perform. Completing the good deeds culminated in an invite to a private party with one of the main US celebrity DJs on board. The 90% response rate to the campaign underlines the success.

The Main Takeaway

Beyond appealing to a single section of the community, the quality of the materials mailed out was a winner. Their interactive nature was pure temptation, making people actually want to use them. And this is key. If you want people to act on the offers in direct mail, give them something with real value and make it clear what they can do with it.

In a nutshell:

  • Know your audience: their likes and dislikes, their aspirations and triggers to buy
  • Craft your offer around a specific event or time limited occasion to create a ‘use it or lose its sense of urgency
  • Don’t skimp on materials or print quality
  • Create offerings people can use in the real world, that have a tangible value

As mentioned, the Grant’s Whiskey ‘It’s The Ship’ campaign got a 90% response rate. And that has to float the boat of any marketing department.

Direct Mail Best Practices