Corby selects Media Experts as media agency of record

Company now directing an "increasing percentage" of media investment to digital

Corby Spirit and Wine, which markets and distributes leading beverage alcohol brands including Wiser’s, Polar Ice, Absolut and Jacob’s Creek, has selected Media Experts as its media agency of record following a “comprehensive” review.

Joseph Delvecchio, brand director, spirits for Corby, said the company was attracted to the agency’s expertise in data-driven customer targeting. “They truly demonstrated a deep understanding of our business, a passion for the category and a proven ability to drive sales and increase market share for their customers,” said Delvecchio in a release.

He also said Corby felt a “strong cultural connection” with the agency.

“What really excited us about the project is that they’ve got fantastic stories to tell about all these products,” said Kris Davis, senior vice-president of customer service with Media Experts. “People are taking a lot more interest in how products are made and the quality of the ingredients that go into them.

“We want to help them drive volume, but it’s also connecting with the right customers and influencers and helping tell the stories behind those brands – where they come from, how they’re made, the ingredients, etcetera.”

In its 2014 annual report, Corby said it is now directing an “increasing percentage” of its media investment towards digital channels, and has realigned its marketing team to drive innovation and maximize opportunities in digital. The company said it is using Twitter, Facebook and Google Hangouts to speak directly with consumers, changing “forever” how wine and spirits are marketed.

The company said the approach is yielding considerable dividends. Sales of its Jameson brand grew 25% last year, surpassing the 100,000 9L case milestone for the first time, while sales of The Glenlivet single malt scotch also rose 7.9%, on the basis of increased consumer interest in premium malt whisky and growing interest among women.

President and CEO Patrick O’Driscoll said in the report the company is increasingly translating consumer insights into new and relevant products and strategies.

O’Driscoll pointed to the launch of its female-focused Criollo Chocolate Liqueur brand – which went from a concept to store shelves within 15 months – as an example of the company’s commitment to product development based on consumer insights.

“They’re quite sophisticated in their consumer segmentation, which lines up with our approach of being very precise when it comes to targeting the right people at the right stage of their journey and engaging them with the right piece of content,” said Davis.

Corby recorded 2014 revenue of $137.3 million, up from $132.7 million in 2013 in what O’Driscoll described as a “challenging” Canadian spirits category. The company attributed the gain to the introduction of its J.P. Wisers brand into the U.S., which helped offset what the company described as “small” declines in its domestic business.

Net earnings for the year fell to $24.9 million from $27 million the previous year, which it attributed to its efforts to develop future growth streams.

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