Last year Gordon’s launched its Perfect Serve campaign to train bar
staff how to serve gin and tonic to counter a decline in Gordon’s share
of the drinks market, attributed to the unappetising way it is often
A new cinema advertisement, tested in London in May this year, was used
to support the Perfect Serve campaign by illustrating how to make a
Gordon’s and tonic. The ad aimed to make the audience want to get their
hands on a Gordon’s and tonic and encourage them to tell bar staff how
to make the drink properly if it was not served to their
Gordon’s is keen on integration of above and below-the-line activities
and during a brainstorming session with ad agency Leo Burnett and buying
agency TMD Carat, retained PR agency Lexis came up with the idea of a
juniper-scented cinema ad.
To support the London test of the Perfect Serve cinema commercial and
generate media coverage. To reinforce the importance of juniper as an
ingredient in gin and make the audience associate the scent of juniper
Lexis approached BOC Gases to develop a juniper scent and planned a
media and trade event with TMD Carat, which advised on the choice of
venue, the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, and sale promotion agency Carlson,
which supplied point-of-sale material.
Invitations to the launch were printed on a strip of film and sent out
in a circular chrome tin, like those used to store film, containing a
muslin bag of juniper berries. A preview copy of Whoopi Golberg’s film,
The Associate, was used as a further incentive for trade customers to
The story was sold to the media as the first ever scented cinema
A media pack was prepared and interviews were set up with Andy Neal,
United Distillers UK consumer marketing director.
The commercial, with the juniper scent pumped through the air
conditioning system, ran for one week at the Ritzy in May.
The scented ad captured the imagination of the media. BBC Business
Breakfast, Working Lunch, Channel 4’s the Big Breakfast, and Channel 5
News all ran the story. In terms of radio coverage, Radio 5 Live carried
a four-minute story, LBC Drivetime a five-minute interview and Radio 4’s
You and Yours ran a four-minute piece. Altogether, 19 interviews and 15
news items were broadcast on radio.
Although the trial of the commercial was restricted to London, there was
extensive regional coverage including well over 20 local radio stations
from as far away as Newcastle and Somerset. Alice Chan, account director
at Lexis, attributes the coverage to the fact that story went out on PA
and the media’s appetite for stories about advertising and
National press coverage included pieces in the Daily Mail, the
Independent, the Sun, the Mirror and the Express. There have also been
more than 15 articles in trade and marketing publications.
Mark Johnson, a reporter with BBC Radio 5 Live, attended the launch for
its Wake Up To Money programme. ’The whole idea and the novelty of
’smellyvision’ attracted us to the event.
It was an offbeat story with very strong entertainment value . We
covered it as an interesting marketing technique and treated it as a bit
of fun,’ he said.
The idea achieved a huge amount of media exposure inexpensively,
although it is still to be decided whether the scented ad will be shown
in key towns around the UK.
Client: Gordon’s Gin
PR Team: Lexis PR
Campaign: Scented Gin cinema advertisement
Timescale: April - May 1997
Cost: pounds 3,000