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    Margarita’s are in, Aperol spritz and espresso martinis are out as Pernod Ricard’s Altos Tequila seeks to own at-home cocktails

    Pernod Ricard is positioning itself to dominate the at-home entertainment space this Christmas by tapping into the trending spirit of the season: tequila. Marketing director Kristy Rutherford, told Mediaweek “brand awareness” was Pernod Ricard’s top priority for Olmeca Altos Tequila, and the key driver behind their latest collaboration with independent creative agency, Emotive. 

    Despite being recognised as a top-ranking tequila for margaritas and palomas, Altos, Pernod Ricard’s leading agave-based spirit brand, has historically lacked the level of awareness in Australia enjoyed by other more prominent names in the category, like Jose Cuervo. 

    With its escalating demand, Rutherford said the festive season presented a timely and crucial opportunity to “connect our brand very strongly to the margarita.”

    According to Simon Joyce, chief executive officer at Emotive, the solution was for the Altos brand to move “to own the at-home occasion this Christmas.”

    The brand’s latest Emergency Lime Baubles campaign plays on the fact that, apparently, nearly two-thirds of consumers will find themselves lacking the limes they need for at-home margaritas. 

    See also: Altos Tequila rescues Christmas with emergency lime baubles in new campaign via Emotive

    The work is a culmination of two years of investment in Altos, chasing the momentum of tequila as the biggest growth segment in spirits as the margarita overtook the Aperol spritz as the drink of the summer.

    Rutherford recalled, “It used to be the espresso martini and Aperol spritz, then out of nowhere, the margarita pushed up to number one about two to three years ago.

    “We saw that naturally people were interested more in tequila, and that margaritas suddenly became the biggest cocktail.”

    “People now understand that tequila can be a drink for more elevated moments,” she remarked, describing the traction in tequila as “an evolution of the category.”

    Tequila’s growing popularity in Australia appears to be the result of two perfectly coinciding cultural phenomenons: the growing availability of premium, one hundred percent agave tequilas and celebrity entrants to the category (Kendall Jenner’s 818, The Rock’s Teremana), which have bolstered its image as a drink for grownups, and reformed the synonymous perception of tequila as mostly a go-to for shots.

    “We all remember years gone by when drinking tequila meant taking shots of a low quality spirit, and then feeling hungover in the morning,” said Rutherford. “That was when the category was less developed.”

    Meanwhile, the pandemic forcefully legitimised the homemade margarita. 

    The campaign, fronted by prominent Internet personality Jimmy Rees and Real Housewives of Sydney cast favourites Krissy Marsh and Nicole O’Neil, encourages consumers to swap their traditional Christmas baubles with the in-case-of-emergency lime counterpart. A distribution partnership with Uber Eats, Harris Farm, and IGA brings the mission to life.

    Reflecting on the Emergency Lime campaign and targeting “a very specific occasion,” Rutherford said, “We certainly found a unique space for us to focus on in the at-home occasion.

    “We deliberately tied it specifically to Christmas so we could get a moment when people are already coming together and sharing beverages at home.”

    As Altos continues to position as the number one tequila for margaritas, Joyce hinted at more “differently shaped” work. He specifically distinguished the Emergency Limes campaign effort for its unique “ecosystem to communicate this particular office.”  

    “You’ve got social, really clever partnerships, PR, brand experience – all underpinned by a really sharp idea,” Joyce said. He lists the departure from traditional advertising, utilising retail channels in creative and unexpected ways, as a resourceful means to nab earned media and secure a significant return on investment.

    For now, Rutherford predicts, “We’d like to see some sales move over the next two weeks, for sure.”

    Margarita’s are in, Aperol spritz and espresso martinis are out as Pernod Ricard’s Altos Tequila seeks to own at-home cocktails

    Simon Joyce (Chief executive officer, Emotive) & Kristy Rutherford (Marketing director, Pernod Ricard)

    The post Margarita’s are in, Aperol spritz and espresso martinis are out as Pernod Ricard’s Altos Tequila seeks to own at-home cocktails appeared first on Mediaweek.

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