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Exclusive: Cointreau To Advertise In The Super Bowl, With A “Love Letter” To The On-Premise

January 29, 2021

As a brand known for its frequent inclusion in the most popular cocktail in America—The Margarita—Cointreau is among the spirits labels pulling hard for a robust on-premise comeback. In hopes of jumpstarting that recovery, the Rémy Cointreau-owned liqueur will advertise in the Super Bowl for the first time this year, debuting a new campaign in collaboration with the Independent Restaurant Coalition. The move comes as Cointreau sees strong growth in the U.S., with depletions up 15% to 345,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

The TV and digital push will urge consumers to write a “Love Letter” on social media to their favorite bars and restaurants, tagging their posts with the hashtag #SaveRestaurants. The centerpiece is a 30-second Super Bowl spot that will reach millions of people across 15 markets on Sunday, February 7. It features real restaurant and bar staff members personally impacted by the pandemic, highlighting the importance of supporting on-premise businesses. The campaign’s target markets are among those hardest hit by the pandemic, including Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Rémy declined to put an exact figure on the spend, but a 30-second Super Bowl ad slot is worth about $5.6 million this year, according to Kantar.

“Our on-premise partners have given Cointreau so much, and we want to do our part to show our support,” said Ian McLernon, president and CEO at Rémy Cointreau Americas. “We’re taking this opportunity to amplify their voices during one of the biggest moments of the year.”

Rémy notes that one in six on-premise outlets have closed since the start of the pandemic, leaving 2.4 million restaurant and bar staffers out of work. Andrew Zimmern, founding member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) and creative lead on the Love Letter campaign, said he hopes the effort “kickstarts a national conversation” around the dire need of support for the on-premise community. The IRC says the first step is to pass the Restaurants Act through Congress. It’s a $120 billion revitalization fund that passed the House of Representatives last year and had support of 53 Senators but was ultimately left out of the December stimulus package.

While Cointreau is eagerly awaiting the recovery of the on-premise, the brand has seen a surge at retail over the past year as consumers dive into home cocktail-making. According to senior brand director Wendy Duan, Cointreau has been growing at roughly four times the rate of the liqueurs category in recent months. Of the upcoming Super Bowl campaign, Duan observes, “This is a big step for us in terms of supporting the on-premise, but also in terms of Cointreau coming forth and becoming a bigger brand in the next phase of our growth.”—Daniel Marsteller

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