How Dewar's Caribbean Smooth launch celebrated Scotribbean culture

Caribbean Smooth is an 8-year-old scotch aged in rum casks.

Company: Dewar’s Scotch Whisky
Campaign: Caribbean Smooth
Agency partners: Nike Communications (PR, media relations, digital influencers), BBDO (creative), Epsilon (event production) 
Duration: Fall 2019

What is Scotribbean? It’s a new term Dewar’s Scotch Whisky coined for its new spirit that blends Scottish and Caribbean cultures. Caribbean Smooth is an 8-year-old scotch aged in rum casks. The brand put together an experiential campaign to promote the new product.

Rum is often considered a summer drink, while whisky is "a spirit that can be perceived as typically being enjoyed during the winter," said Zeenah Vilcassim, Dewar’s global brand director.

Dewar’s launched Caribbean Smooth in the transitional period between summer and fall to highlight the spirit’s versatile nature as a blend "that can be a go-to all year round." 

As the first spirit in Dewar’s series of cask-finished whiskies, the company wanted Caribbean Smooth to reflect trends in the alcohol space, including an increased demand for "premium, versatile spirits" with diverse flavor profiles. 

A central piece of the marketing strategy was a digital campaign called Speaking Scotribbean, which blended both Caribbean and Scottish slang into a new language that "perfectly represents the new spirit," according to a statement.

To officially launch Caribbean Smooth, Dewar’s threw a four-day pop-up bar event called The Scotribbean Residency in New York City from September 25-28, hosted by Puerto Rican supermodel Joan Smalls and featuring bartenders from Scotland and Puerto Rico. 

On social media, the brand partnered with 23 influencers - including those in the whisky, bar-trade, travel and lifestyle realms - to promote the launch. 

View this post on Instagram

Can you think of a better place to crack open a bottle of the brand new @dewars #CaribbeanSmooth for the first time? I sure can't! The first release in the #DewarsCaskSeries is an 8-year blended Scotch whisky double aged and finished in Caribbean rum casks. Two iconic cultures coming together to create a supremely smooth blend that slips into dark brown sugar and tropical fruit flavors. Nothing like sipping on a scotch and sharing it with new friends while watching a storm roll in over a Puerto Rico beach. #Dewars #DewarsPartner . . . . . #????? #singlemalt #scotch #scotchwhisky #bourbon #irishwhiskey #ryewhiskey #whisky #whiskey #bartenderlife #bartending #bartender #cocktails #instadrink #instabooze #cheers #Slainte #drink #nowdrinking #booze #alcohol #drinkporn #imbibegram #drinksup #sip

A post shared by Whisky With A View (@whiskywithaview) on

In addition to the pop-up event, the influencer campaign was designed to highlight Scotribbean-themed recipes, including dishes and drinks that put a Caribbean twist on traditional recipes from a diverse array of cultures, and lifestyle and trade cocktail content featuring Caribbean Smooth. Many posts included a customized call-to-action: 

Dewar’s featured many of these posts on its own social channels, and ran its own Scotribbean content. This included playful animations on Instagram and Facebook. In addition, Dewar’s invited people to immerse themselves in the Scotribbean with a word generator combining Caribbean and Scottish phrases into a new irreverent Scotribbean slang.

The campaign generated wide scale coverage both in industry-specific outlets such as The Whiskey Lifestyle, Chilled, and Vinepair; and general interest and lifestyle publications, including  Forbes, Maxim and People. It resulted in more than 184 earned placements. 

Over the course of the pop-up event, more than 2,100 Caribbean Smooth cocktails were served to 1,800 attendees.  

On social, the influencer campaign racked up 143,000 likes and over 2,000 comments. The overall engagement rate was 3.1%. Additionally, a Caribbean Smooth post was among Dewar’s top three Instagram posts of the year in terms of reach, likes and shares.

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