Pernod Ricard: West Coast Cooler Case Study

04 Dec 2014|Mark Whiting

This paper presented at the 2014 annual ESOMAR Congress describes the thinking behind, the ambitions for and the challenges faced in developing an actionable and differentiated approach to generating and leveraging insights at Pernod Ricard. The resulting five-step process, known as A.L.I.V.E., was framed and executed in the humanistic and entrepreneurial spirit of Pernod Ricard’s way of building “passion brands” (living brands), where deeper connections with consumers and generating advocacy are the driving ambition.

Read part1 here and part2 here of “Insights that bring brands A.L.I.V.E”.

The Irish Distillers insights team used the A.L.I.V.E. process when the West Coast Cooler brand (a mix of white wine and exotic fruit flavorings with a 4% ABV) needed help to create a fresh strategic positioning which would inspire growth among current and future consumers, specifically by guiding successful innovation (in products and in the use of touch points for communication).

After an initial phase of translating the brief into a consumer challenge, they used many of the Learn techniques to immerse themselves in the world of the target consumer: women aged 22 to 27, in a transitional phase of their life – ambitious, but at a stage when life’s responsibilities have caught up with them and so are looking to maintain the fun in the face of these changing realities.. This included a full brand audit, trend analysis, Magic Tuesday consumer home visits, Path nights (tracking consumers’ journeys on social occasions using the social networking platform Path), expert interviews and competitor analysis in order to generate clues relating to the consumers, to the category and to the brand itself.

These clues were then pieced together to develop an in-depth portrait of the brand’s Crusaders (in Pernod Ricard, Crusaders are the aspirational individuals who embody and activate the brand’s crusade (or brand message)); they are the people who will rally the brand’s message, who share the mindset expressed in the human insight that has been identified and who are aspirational to the brand’s strategic target.

Finally, the team brought the brand’s Crusaders to life as a character called LENA in a series of photo boards and armed with these, as well as the human insights that had been developed about the consumer, led a series of Energize sessions to generate ideas that would encourage the target consumer to re-connect, re-engage and re-appraise the brand. At the forefront of these has been the recent re-launch of the master brand with a new livery and expression, together with the launch of a new product, West Coast Cooler & Vodka, a distinctive 7% ABV carbonated drink, supported by a through the line “Girls Shine On” advertising Campaign.


West Coast Cooler vodka and Girls Shine On advertisement

In addition, fueled by a deep understanding of the social lives and life priorities of the target consumer, a range of events and promotions were developed, including a competition to win tickets for a HAIM gig at The Olympia, TV spots selected to strengthen associations with more “LENA”-esque TV programming such as GIRLS Series 3 on SKY Atlantic Ireland, as well as a comprehensive digital plan (social media, HPTO, mobile and collaborative content).


The authors:
Nathalie De Rochechouart is Global Marketing Development & Insights Director at the Pernod Ricard company in Paris, France.
Kim Gaspar is the Market Research Best Practice manager at the Pernod Ricard company in Paris, France.
Florence Rainsard is the Consumer Insight and Research manager at the Pernod Ricard company in Paris, France.
Mark Whiting is a Director at Added Value in Paris, France.

Image source:

Image source: West Coast Cooler ad

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