New-look Tullamore Dew bottle is ‘truly Irish’

Irish whiskey Tullamore Dew, currently the world’s second largest Irish whiskey, unveiled a new bottle, marketing and advertising campaign at TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes this year.

The new communications campaign is headed by the theme ‘Irish True’ and has been developed by Tullamore Dew Global Brand Director Shane Hoyne in collaboration with international agency McCann Erickson, Jeff Weis and filmmaker Jake Scott. The result is an amusing TV ad, already showing in the UK, with the campaign set to roll out over ten markets into October and then globally from 2012.

Hoyne commented: “Hopefully what you see is we’ve taken a very different approach on ‘Irishness’ and we’ve taken something we believe can create some very iconic messaging. I think one thing is that we have a good sense of humour and that’s a very important part of our brand as well.

“It’s incredibly exciting for us. As the brand owners of Tullamore Dew, I think it’s fair to say we’ve put our heart and soul into this brand. Tullamore Dew is the second largest Irish whiskey in the world; it’s a very fast growing brand in a very fast growing category.

‘GLOBAL PREMIUM WHISKEY BRAND’ “Our belief is that this brand is only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more that we can bring to the market, whether it’s in our domestic or global travel retail market, but to do that we felt that there were a couple of major things that needed to be done.

“One was our aspiration is to establish Tullamore Dew as a truly global premium whiskey brand and for that to happen we need a truly global premium positioning for the brand.”

Hoyne also revealed the new bottle and packaging, explaining how the brand owners were very conscious that they wanted to create something with a globally premium appeal:

“The new Tullamore Dew labelling and bottle has a couple of things that we felt were very important. One was to keep the current integrity of the shape of the bottle, which is quite unique in Irish whiskey, but to make the overall look and feel much more premium and much more contemporary.

“As well, what we’ve also done at the same time is really accentuated points about our brand that we’ve never really talked about before. We’ve changed the word Dew to D.E.W, which are the letters of Daniel E Williams, the founder of Tullamore Dew back in 1829. So we’re starting to bring back a little bit of the Irish True back into the brand as well.”

As one of the fastest-growing Irish whiskey brands in the world, almost doubling sales since 2005, Tullamore Dew has also scooped two top awards at this year’s prestigious Irish Masters Awards, for highly acclaimed Tullamore 10 Year Old Reserve (Gold) and Tullamore Dew Black 43 (Master), which further cements the brand as one of the industry’s most respected Irish whiskeys.

The brand was purchased by William Grant & Sons last year, an independent family-owned distiller founded by William Grant in 1886 and still controlled today by the fifth generation of his family.

Andrew O’ Gorman, October,2011.

Monday, 28 May 2012


William Grant Ltd., the owner of Tullamore Dew, is backing the brand on export and domestuic markets with an integrated marketing campaign that includes edgy advertising and a a new bottle as it plans to do battle with giants Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Beam in an upwardly-mobile Irish Whiskey eector.

It is also planning to distil its own whiskies in a new distillery planned for Tullamore where a new Visitor Centre will open next year.

At present Tullamore Dew is made from a blend of whiskies distilled at the Pernod Ricard distillery in Midleton and the Diaeo distillery at Bushmills. This will change from  2014 when the new distillery will begin production. It will be some years after that however before the company achieves a self-sufficient whiskey stock.

Meanwehile William Grant is working on a re-positioning of the brand and setting up distribution in key export markets. Grant claims that Tullamore Dew with 15% of the world Irish Whiskey marketis the second-largest Irish whiskey brand on export markets which would put it ahead of Bushmills but well behind Jameson, the Pernod Ricard-owned brand leader.

Long-time Tullamore employee John Quinn (pictured) has been appointed Brand Ambassador for Tullamore Dew. He says that the brand is distinctive because it combines all three types of Irish whiskeys – pot still, malt and grain giving additional complexity.

New advertising for Tullamore Dew had a hard edge showing the bottle in a dark rain-soaked environment with catch-lines such as ‘Glasses Up’, ‘Bards-Bedlam’, ‘Fear-Poet-Drink-Whiskey’ and ‘Love-Havoc’. The new bottle features the signature of Daniel Edmund Williams, founder of the whiskey brand and the brand name has been modified to his initials, ‘D.E.W’, recognising the work of the Mountmellick-born distiller who cycled to work in Tullamore and often slept in the distiller loft.

William Grant and its Irish distributor Findlater plan to emphasise the heritage of the brand with the packaging and the new Tullamore Visitor Centre which hopes to attrtact 40,000 visitors per annum

Irish whiskey is the world’s fastest growing spirit, though coming from a low base, According to a report by Davy Stockbrokers,the renaissance of Irish whiskey has helped whiskey to outpace growth in the rest of the food and beverage sector.

Davy notes: “The Irish whiskey category has undergone significant change in the past number of months. Most notably, Beam, the US spirits giant, acquired the lone remaining Irish-owned distillery when it paid $95 million [€75m] for the Cooley distillery. Beam will now compete in the Irish whiskey space against category leader Pernod Ricard [Jameson, Paddy, Powers], Diageo [Bushmills] and William Grant [Tullamore Dew].”

Davy noted: “Beam has already earmarked the Kilbeggan brand as the group’s new priority Irish whiskey brand from among the Cooley stable. As a result of Beam’s acquisition of Cooley, the majority of third-party brands as well as much of the private label Irish whiskey market will now disappear.”

The stockbroker also notes that Cooley had previously been the main supplier of liquid for much of these smaller brands, but predicts that Beam will now discontinue these contracts where possible.

The Davy report notes that Irish whiskey has fallen a long way over the past century.  “While Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing whiskey category in the world, it is coming off a low base. Scotch is now a 90 million case-a-year industry globally compared to Irish whiskey at around 5 million cases. For comparison, American whiskey is a 30 million-case industry and Canadian whiskey sells 20 million cases annually.”

Jameson is Ireland’s strongest export brand by a significant margin, accounting for around 3.4 million of the five million cases exported annually. Davy is predicting that Beam’s acquisition of the Cooley distillery may see a greater degree of competition emerge in the category in future years.

Leave a Reply