Glenlivet fills the internet with diverse whiskey drinkers

Diving Brief:

  • The Glenlivet, a Scotch whiskey owned by Pernod Ricard, has unveiled a new global campaign, dubbed “#BreakTheStereotype”, which seeks to change Google’s algorithm to better reflect diverse whiskey drinkers, according to information shared with Marketing Dive. Scotch whiskey is a distinct subset of the broader whiskey category.
  • As part of the campaign, The Glenlivet “plants” images into Google’s algorithm. When a consumer types “whiskey drinker” into Google Images, they are greeted with a series of photos showing people of all stripes enjoying whiskey, instead of the usual middle-aged white men such searches typically yield.
  • Like whiskey drinkers diversify, many brands have made a conscious effort to reach “atypical” whiskey drinkers. The Glenlivet search engine hack is the brand’s latest diversification effort and comes less than a month after the launch of a women-centric campaign with Anna Paquin in Australia and New Zealand.

Overview of the dive:

Glenlivet’s campaign attempts to both change the perception of whiskey drinkers while filling the internet with hip youngsters drinking Scotch whisky, raising the brand’s profile among millennials. The move comes as whiskey sees a increasingly diverse consumer base.

“#BreakTheStereotype continues The Glenlivet’s pioneering legacy and shows that we will never be held back by the limitation of preconceptions. We know there is a wide range of whiskey enthusiasts across the world and it continues to grow – but the old stereotype surrounding whiskey remains. It’s time for us to change that,” said Miriam Eceolaza, global marketing director for The Glenlivet single malts at Pernod Ricard, in a statement.

The images were taken by Ugandan-British photographer Danny Kasirye and chicanx queer artist Devyn Galindo. In addition to the various subjects, the Scotch Whiskey featured is not drunk neat in the standard Glencairn glass, but in a variety of ways, including in cocktails and over ice. This is in line with the distillery’s campaign featuring Paquin, which advocates drinking The Glenlivet as the consumer prefers, and not allowing so-called experts to confuse or influence the way they drink Scotch.

Since 1990, the percentage of female whiskey drinkers Doubled, going from 15% of drinkers to 30%. This notable increase has allowed distillers to reach out to women and other diverse drinkers. Glenlivet’s efforts aim to reach these consumers in a way that increases brand awareness.

As part of this effort, The Glenlivet has also partnered with Equal Measures, an organization that seeks to provide greater equity for ethnic minorities and marginalized groups in the hospitality industry. The brand will support the organization through its education and mentorship program, providing up to 30 participants with access to qualifications, mentorship and other opportunities. This action in the real world could lend additional weight to the goal-oriented effort.

Influencing search algorithms to better represent diverse consumers is a tactic adopted by marketers in several industries. This month, Heineken sought to tackle bias in football by buying key AdWords on popular football issues to ensure women’s achievements are not overlooked. Procter & Gamble brands, including Olay and Pantene, have also sought to influence algorithms to combat bias.

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