The Balvenie reveals a global, fully integrated campaign to launch The Balvenie Stories; a new collection of single malt whiskies created at The Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. Spearheading the campaign, a book of original stories by celebrated authors from around the world will be published globally by The Balvenie in an innovative partnership with Canongate; a renowned independent publisher. Set to be published in autumn 2019, the move shows the brand’s continued drive to put people at the heart of its whisky.
Working with global PR agency Splendid Communications, creative agency Space, design agency Here Design and media agency Vizeum, alongside The Balvenie global brand and local market teams, the storytelling campaign is set to launch in more than 15 markets globally from May, including the UK, USA and Taiwan. It spans PR, digital and experiential, as well as activations in the on- and off-trade to engage with whisky fans at every touch-point.
The book, Pursuit – The Balvenie Stories Collection, is edited by award-winning author and journalist Alex Preston, and will contain a series of fiction and non-fiction short stories. Taking inspiration from The Balvenie’s own pursuit of perfection, contributing authors were briefed to craft tales of perseverance, tenacity, determination and resolve. The collection will explore what it is to have, and pursue, a goal or a dream. Authors include international best-selling writer Lawrence Osbourne, award-winning British authors Max Porter and Daisy Johnson, and many more.
The integrated campaign, which coincides with the unveiling of the whiskies, will also incorporate a media partnership with world-renowned storytelling institution, The New Yorker. At the heart of the partnership is the publication of a non-fiction short story authored by critically acclaimed British novelist Lawrence Osborne, recounting personal stories from his time spent as a ‘writer in residence’ at The Balvenie Distillery earlier this year. The partnership will also see The Balvenie storytelling campaign supported via the magazine’s own social channels, digital display and via its Radio Hour podcast.
Gemma Paterson Brand Ambassador at The Balvenie Global, says: “The Balvenie Distillery is built on stories – they really are our lifeblood. In today’s increasingly automated world, it’s our craftspeople’s pursuit, passion and endeavour that makes our liquid so unique. This campaign lets us celebrate storytelling in all forms – from our distillery, Speyside and all across the world. We’re delighted to be partnering with some of the world’s best storytellers to bring this to life and look forward to sharing this unique collection of untold tales – the perfect accompaniment to a dram of our whisky – later this year.”
Highlighting the parallels between whisky making and storytelling, The Balvenie upholds age-old traditions at the same time as challenging and testing their limits, offering twists on a familiar narrative, deviating from traditional forms at the same time as following them, all with the goal of making the perfect single malt whisky. This storytelling theme is at the heart of The Balvenie Stories range; each new expression represents a compelling production story. These whiskies are the outcome of techniques passed down by the distillery’s craftspeople from generation to generation, each telling its own tale in liquid form.
The storytelling theme is threaded through the design of The Balvenie Stories packaging too, with each tale represented visually on the whisky’s tube and label in bespoke illustrations from British artist and printmaker Andy Lovell. Andy’s work draws its inspiration direct from the distillery, where he spent time listening to the stories first-hand, before using his bold, hand-made gestural technique to build up images that capture the essence of each tale.
Drinkers will also have the unique opportunity to hear the whisky’s stories in full via audio conversations recorded between the craftspeople themselves and The Balvenie Global Ambassador Gemma, as well as experience a guided audio-tasting of each expression with David Stewart and Kelsey McKechnie via an NFC-enabled tag on the bottle. Designed in partnership with connected product solutions company Thinfilm, drinkers can connect to the audio content using their smartphones.
The Balvenie Stories collection will be available in select retailers including Fortum and Mason and Waitrose, at the following recommended prices; The Sweet Toast of American Oak (£45), The Week of Peat (£65) and A Day of Dark Barley (£600).
Pursuit – The Balvenie Stories Collection will be sold at The Balvenie distillery, in bookshops and online worldwide, and will be the perfect literary accompaniment to a dram of The Balvenie Stories whisky.