Gordon’s Gin has moved its pounds 3m creative account out of Leo
Burnett after 11 years, handing the business to Bartle Bogle Hegarty
with a brief to ensure the brand conquers the youth market.
It is the second major UDV creative account BBH has snatched from under
Leo Burnett’s nose. It was awarded the global Johnnie Walker contract
last summer, although Leo Burnett still handles the tactical work on
that account. Leo Burnett will still handle some international
The change is understood to have been spurred by Gordon’s efforts to
conquer a young audience. While work by Leo Burnett - including Gordon’s
first ever television campaign, the underwater sequence
’Innervigoration’ - had begun this task, UDV is understood to have been
looking for fresh ideas when it decided to call the pitch.
Sal Syller, UDV UK’s marketing director, paid tribute to the campaigns
orchestrated by Leo Burnett during the agency’s long and fruitful
partnership with the distiller. She said: ’We wish to emphasise that we
have been entirely satisfied with the agency’s performance.’
Leo Burnett’s first campaign for the spirit was ’Green’, which played on
consumers’ recognition of Gordon’s green bottle.
This was ditched in 1994 in favour of ’Innervigoration’, which aimed to
relaunch the gin as a young person’s drink.
While UDV has continued to target older consumers in sponsoring the
National Trust and Chelsea Flower Show, a new effort to win younger
drinkers kicked off last year, with a TV and cinema commercial set
inside a pool hall.
Gordon’s is still the UK’s most popular gin, but Mintel’s most recent
figures estimate its market share had fallen to 43% by 1998, due mainly
to supermarket own-brands. When Leo Burnett won the business in 1989 it
In Marketing’s most recent Biggest Brands survey, Gordon’s was the UK’s
fourth-biggest spirits brand, with annual on-trade sales down 0.5% to
pounds 195m, and off-trade sales up 0.8% to around pounds 80m. It spent
more on advertising (pounds 2.98m) last year than any other spirits
brand except Bacardi Carta Blanca, which spent pounds 3.4m.