“A used Band-Aid that’s been soaked in lighter fluid.” That’s how one Knightsbridge Branding employee describes the flavor of Laphroaig scotch. In a surprising marketing move, the Islay Single Malt Scotch Whiskey company is embracing such reactions with its new campaign, #OpinionsWelcome.
The global advertising and digital campaign, which was launched this week, includes a series of print ads and a playful video, both of which point out Laphroaig’s polarizing flavor. In the video, random people give their real first impressions of the drink. Their appraisals range from the more positive, with descriptions like “spicy,” “cream,” and “freshly cracked pepper,” to the less appetizing, “iodine,” smoked fish,” and “a medicine cupboard.” One woman even said, “I think they let the cows in that one.” In short, the liquor is an acquired taste.
Even Laphroaig fans would likely agree with some of the seemingly adverse descriptions as characteristics of scotch whiskey in general. While it at first seems to disparage the brand, Laphroaig’s latest campaign actually highlights that more discerning tasters can pick out the drink’s subtle, positive flavors. In this way, the company hints that this is an exclusive, luxury beverage for the refined palate.
The microsite, www.Laphroaig.com/Opinions, is the central hub of this campaign. The interactive site allows people to submit their opinions of Laphroaig as well as see what other people have to say. To drum up engagement, the company will use some of the submissions in their #OpinionsWelcome campaign.