Back to our roots: Macallan the Malt Part 2
Our story has deep roots, and this is something we choose to honour and continue to invest in. This history has shaped what we are, and is the means through which we choose to shape our future – whether it’s our processes, or our communications.
When we first chose to step onto the global stage as a single malt whisky, we had to make decisions about how we would find and relate to our audience through advertising. The admen responsible for the campaign in the 70s and 80s, David Holmes and Nick Salaman, realised that a precedent had been set by our very first ad. It used line drawings in black and white which was an advantage in small space allocated in The Times. The easygoing copy used a distinctive, sometimes witty, almost scholarly, tone of voice, and helped to tell The Macallan story in a manner at once informative, convincing and ‘clubbable’. Furthermore, nobody else was doing it!
Weather that’s Made for Whisky
In one ad they came up with they used an old illustration from a Victorian era edition of ‘Punch’ (a British satirical magazine) showing urchins scooping up snow from the ground. Nestled in a crowded Times page, the striking ad must have hit the reader like a snowball between the eyes!
It was often said: ‘these little Macallan ads had the punch of a full page and more’.
Drawing from history as well as geography for the campaign, Salaman and Holmes noted that 19th Century cattle drovers used to stop at The Macallan on the way south, a wee dram of our whisky, providing a favourite punctuation point for the traveller, then as now, whether as a golden comma or a satisfying full stop at the end of the day. The Macallan’s home, it seemed, was of the essence, and a foundational place to start the campaign.
Even the wee-est dram of The Macallan could be described (possibly not by the drovers) as ‘multum in parvo’ or, as Wordsworth might have said ‘glory in the glass’!Nick Salaman, Copywriter
As the campaign went on, we continued to draw from our history set deep in the rolling hills of Speyside. While our means of communicating and engaging with Macallan drinkers has evolved with the times, we still hold onto and preserve this history and the lessons learned through it, choosing for it be a part of everything that is to come.