EXCLUSIVE: Grid wins Ballantine’s
Grid Worldwide has been appointed as the South African above-the-line ad agency of Ballantine’s Scotch Whisky, owned by Pernod Ricard. This will be the first time in four years that the brand will be commissioning a local creative agency; it previously used global content and local ambassadors.
“We have had our mind set on the alcohol category for some time,” says Adam Byars, Grid Worldwide joint CEO and partner. “The appeal to us about the Pernod Ricard portfolio was their stellar brand portfolio and the idea of building brand in retail. This played to Grid’s integrated offering and meant we could demonstrate 360-degree capabilities.
“What this [also] means for Grid is an opportunity to work with a brand that ‘plays in culture’ globally and make it locally relevant. We will be looking to bring on some new staff once we have a clear view of the brief and the requirements. We couldn’t be prouder to have been entrusted with the Ballantine’s brand and with the opportunity to deepen our relationship with Pernod Ricard South Africa.”
The pitch process was managed under difficult circumstances by Patsy Fagan from Smart Agile Clear Solutions as South Africa was in level 3 lockdown with an alcohol ban in place and most companies still in working from home mode.
“Grid showed a wealth of experience by unpacking every execution with rationale and insights,” says Keval Ramraj, Ballantine’s Scotch Whisky senior brand manager. “This comforts us knowing that there in an in-depth understanding of our consumer, the position of our brand in the current climate and believing in our ambitions as a challenger brand in a highly competitive category.
“Ballantine’s is a relatively new player in the premium Scotch whiskey category vs our competitors, who have years of history and equity ahead of us. The category has been under pressure over the last two years due to the rise of gins; however, we have still seen positive growth on the brand and we strongly feel, with our superior liquid and a locally relevant communication plan, we will without a doubt shake up the Scotch whiskey category, giving us the opportunity to move from challenger to leader in the upcoming years.”
Grid collaborated with Yellowwood on the pitch.
Updated at 10.50am on 31 August 2020.