View Full Version : Current Bourbon Marketing "Gimmicks"

01-21-2004, 11:59
We've all seen the holiday gift sets with a couple of (usually) cheap glasses packed with the bottle of bourbon. Occasionally there are more interesting ones like Knob Creek's package that included a flask. Today I saw two that are new for Houston. EW 7yo comes with a "neck talker" offering a 3 month subscription to a bass fishing magazine while the WT 101 has a "neck talker" holding a 50ml sample of WT's Rare Breed. I like to fish .... but guess which one I bought? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif This one makes sense in that they're trying to get you to buy their top shelf product. Not sure about the bass fishing tie in to bourbon.....other than we do a lot of it in the South.

Any other neat gimmicks out there?

Randy B.

01-21-2004, 12:21
Here are a few I have seen:

(1) Jim Beam Black Label and Flask Set

(2) Jim Beam Black Label and Golf Shoe Bag

(3) Even though I do not much care for Knob Creek I do feel it makes a wonderful Mahnattan. I bought on of these last year and enjoy it. Knob Creek Gift Set with Mini Shaker and Small Batch Maraschino Cherries

(4) Nothing special here but this Wild Turkey 101 and 2 Rocks Glass set was out this Christmas

And finally I could not locate a picture of it, but Heaven Hill did a very nice gift set for Evan Williams Single Barrel which included a Mint Julep Cup.

Edit - Oh yes, and I have also seen a Knob Creek set that came with a Knob Creek Blanket, but the blanket looked like it would make one's skin itch like hell if used! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

01-21-2004, 12:29
These items are called "premiums" by marketers.

The nice thing is that in the spirits industry, as has been pointed out in these forums before, they usually are offered at the regular price. I picked up the JBB flask this year.

I always look for them at the holidays -- some of the glassware is also nice.

01-21-2004, 12:34
I have purchased the Jim Beam Black with flask and the Wild Turkey with two "tumblers" in the past two Christmas's. These are the only time in memory that I have purchased these bourbons...when you have to have a give away to interest a dedicated bourbon-only buyer then maybe there is something bigger for these two particular distilleries to consider. I liked these whiskies but have no plans to purchase them soon.

01-21-2004, 12:36
I saw the Knob Creek w/shaker and cherries but passed because KC doesn't do it for me. I bit on the EWSB 93 with the "pewter/mint julip" cup (as I like the EWSB 93). Of all of those you posted, the golf shoe bag seems to be a bit of a reach for selling bourbon....I'll call it a tie with the bass magazine subscription.

Randy B.

01-21-2004, 13:45
Just found another one... Knob Creek Golf Gift Set which seems to include a few golf balls.

01-21-2004, 13:59
Now this one makes sense......Fortune Brands owns Jim Beam Brands and Titleist. They're cross-marketing two products at once and their cost for the golf balls is nil.

Randy B.

01-21-2004, 14:04
I know it's not exactly bourbon, but I got sucked into buying a bottle of JD which came in a very nice tin with hinged lid. Inside was a 750ml bottle and two logo lowball glasses. I guess the tin and the glasses added about $7 to the cost of the bottle.

I haven't had JD for many years and wanted to try it again anyhow, so it was more of a taste experiment. A bit of a failure, I'd have to admit.

01-21-2004, 16:09
When I was doing this sort of thing, the challenge always was to find something cheap enough that it wouldn't require an "up-charge," which the retailers hated. It was tough, since the budget had to pay for both the premium and the special packaging. That's why you get lots of glassware, which is pretty cheap.

01-21-2004, 16:53
This year, I got Rare Breed in a gift box with two on-the-rocks glasses. It was even on sale for $4 off the regular price of the RB, alone!

Last year, I bought a couple of the WT101's with the 50 ml RB neck hangers. A pretty nice bargain. But, for me, WT101 is something I buy plenty of, anyway. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif


01-21-2004, 20:37
When I found out about the mint julep cup packaging with EWSB, I took all four cases that supposedly came into NY. I had to chase my sales rep to get them, but they arrived with 92 instead of 93 to my surprise. I'll post a pic once I figure out how to post it.

01-21-2004, 21:09
Jack Daniel's charged a premium above their regular price for the 'gift sets' for the first time this year. The store where I work only stocked the Gentleman Jack one as a result. Ironically, Crown Royal, a big seller, dropped their long-time gift-set surcharge this year, so maybe it was JD that got suckered.

01-21-2004, 21:14
Jack Daniel's charged a premium above their regular price for the 'gift sets' for the first time this year.

I am SOOOO glad I don't drink the stuff. First they drop the proof from 86 to 80, now they're nickel-and-diming for Xmas goodies. Sheesh! I thought the whole idea behind the gift sets was to win people over and reward their loyal followers? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif

01-22-2004, 08:22
I've seen a lot of stuff being packaged with the product. Some good, and some of em, Well, one time they were putting a cd on the neck. I asked what was on the cd? I still don't have a clue who that singer was http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

Most of you know that I run the HH booth during the Bourbon Festival. I will put my battle armour on, and tell you the best selling "novelty item" for many years in a row has been Fighting Cock wearables http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif I have sold hundreds and hundreds and hundreds, probably thousands of em. They "usually" are purchased by young males between 25-35 years old http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif Fashion statement? Ego statement? I have my theory, but can't write it here http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

A few other items that I have seen as "on packs", Playboy Evan Williams Q-ball, Glass whale stir stick (Whaler's Rum) Evan Williams golf ball, Fighting Cock boxer shorts, Fighting Cock bandana's, All kinds of key chains, Free 3 month subscription to a fishing magazine, lots and lots of glassware, calling cards, 50mm samplers, coffee cups with coffee, EWSB mint julep cups, playing cards, lots and lots of knives, lots and lots of fishing lures, flashlights, miniature lanterns, coleman coolers, miniature tool sets, every brand of tee shirt, Henry Mckenna silver trays and this list could go on and on.

We try to guess, what item will sell out first, during the festival. That item was the Evan Williams Playboy Q-ball. We also know that every year the most popular "Stolen" item is the Fighting Cock Tee http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

01-22-2004, 08:57
I can't stop laughing at some of the items you've seen packaged as "on items" to help sell bourbon. Fighting cock boxer shorts.....probably did help sell it to that bourbons targeted customers. You mentioned so many, I'm surprised one of our "collectors" hasn't started a bourbon novelty item collection. My guess is that you'd end up with some intersting stuff attached to a lot of sh__y bourbon and other whisky.

Randy B.

01-22-2004, 12:10
Not a bourbon, but Cayopa Rum has music box that plays Caribbean music when you lift the bottle and lights scenes on the label with some sort of LED's. I watched a guy stocking the shelves and he was going nuts. Every one he lifted started to play as he put them on the shelf. (Worse than Big Mouth Billy Bass)

01-22-2004, 14:04
In my view the best novelty items actually package the whiskey, in other words, decanters. I loved the famous Jim Beam series, Michter's, McCormick's, Lionstone, all of them (I think McCormick had the rights to Elvis reproductions). I know these things go in phases but why hasn't an existing distiller started a new decanter series? It could be based on so many themes as the Beam ones were from the mid-1950's until the 1980's. Just start with one and see where it goes, e.g., American Patriots, or it could be a States series, maybe flora and fauna, notable sporting events, or historical events, etc.

Who is for a return of the decanters?!


01-24-2004, 11:44
Here is a scan of the Q-ball and one of the many, many fishing lures. The other side of the Q-ball has the Playboy Bunny, logo on it http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Bettye Jo http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

01-24-2004, 18:36
I like the cue ball idea. Pool hall (or home), bourbon, and the name keeps coming up over and over. Thanks for the pic....I haven't ever seen the fishing lures.

Randy B.

02-06-2004, 12:07
In Michigan, the LCC controls the price of liquor. So, any given bottle, whether you buy it in a liquor store in Metro-Detroit or a grocery store in the backwoods of the Upper Penninsula, is exactly the same price.

No price gouging, but no sales either.

This sort of merchandising is the only incentive distilleries can offer to entice buyers to buy their bourbon (besides the bourbon, of course).