How Martini tempted consumers to try something different

Jo Bowman

Martini is an iconic spirits brand with an enviable heritage, but it was suffering from an image problem. Consumers often – at best – associated it with the 1970s, and few drinkers realised that the vermouth could be enjoyed in cocktails, rather than solely as a straight aperitif.

As 2013 marked the brand's 150th anniversary, it was decided that a fresh marketing push could help change this situation. More specifically, the aim was to tap into what Melissa Frank, Bacardi-Martini's global shopper marketing director, called the "connecting with friends" drinking occasion, where people get together over an alcoholic beverage. This market segment is worth €3 billion a year.

Kirstie Hawkes, director of consulting at Kantar Retail's consumer and shopper marketing division, explained that the barriers to purchase for Martini ran deeper than a lack of awareness and uncertainty regarding how it should be consumed.