Gordon’s shifts pounds 3m job from Leo Burnett to BBH

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.

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

was 48%.

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.


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