To promote the launch of its Double Cask 12 Years Old single malt Scotch whisky, The Macallan last fall held events in five cities for 1,000 influencers who in turn served up 12 million social media impressions for the brand. The events took place at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the historic Greystone Mansion in Los Angeles and venues in Austin, Chicago and Miami that provided a luxury backdrop for sipping the new spirit.
The events also told the story of how Double Cask is made, beginning with the forests that provide the oak for the barrels and ending with a virtual visit to the Scotland distillery. Ensuring that each step in that journey was shareable, The Macallan turned the guests’ clinks into clicks and helped the brand reach a new audience of millennial Scotch drinkers.
“We didn’t invite influencers for the sake of inviting them,” says Sam Leotta, senior brand manager at The Macallan. “The goal was that the 1,000 would amplify their message to their social networks and through word-of-mouth to the their friends and people that they know. Just throwing an event won’t do that. We presented moments that were shareable versus asking them to share. Every moment resonated with them.”
That shareable journey involved physical elements and interactive moments that emphasized the importance of the American oak sherry-seasoned casks combined with casks from Europe, which together give The Macallan Double Cask its sweet, vanilla, fruity taste. The experience began with replications of the American and European oak forests that provide the trees for the casks. Next, coopers led discussions and helped attendees try their hand at barrel making. Attendees then visited Spain, where the barrels are seasoned with sherry and aged for three years before they are emptied and shipped to northern Scotland. A VR experience recapped the whole story from the forests to the distillery where the whisky production takes place and the Scotch is stored for 12 years. A grand reveal led by a national brand ambassador at the end of the evening completed the experience.
“We wanted to tell the story of Double Cask, how the complex flavors are combined to create this new expression from us and to ensure that at every touchpoint people had the chance to taste, touch, see and smell everything that happens across the world in the process,” Leotta says. Agency: Motive, Denver