By Published On: March 29, 2016

What does a 200-year-old brand do to be hip these days? If you’re Macallan Scotch, you come up with a creative way to use social media.

Scotch has several strikes against it when trying to appeal to the younger set. For one, it’s perceived by many as an old-fashioned, stuffy product enjoyed by grandpas and country club members. Add to that, it takes time and effort to appreciate it. And, the good stuff ain’t cheap. So to get young drinkers to embrace it, Macallan had its work cut out for them.

Traditionally, companies have reached out to new Scotch drinkers by hosting free tasting events. But Macallan has taken things to a new level—using Twitter to host cyber tasting events. Bypassing the traditional bar-style event, the company has been sending out small tasting kits along with instruction cards. At a specific day and time, a guide leads participants in a cyber-based Scotch tasting “event” in which tasters are encouraged to share their opinions over Twitter. (Follow along with @USMacallan, using #MacallanCreates).

In 2015, Macallan reached 20,000 consumers through its in-person tastings. Now, they estimate their Twitter tastings will reach over EIGHT MILLION consumers. Sure, the online connection to the brand is more superficial than an in-person event. But using social media has served to expose the brand to a wider, younger audience, as well as helping to up the brand’s coolness factor—making it more approachable and less stuffy.

The marketing lesson here? To connect with your audience, you need to reach them where they are and embrace their preferred channels of communication. Sometimes that means changing your approach and being creative with your message as well as your media. Successful marketing requires flexibility, an openness to change, and a commitment to creativity. Especially when it comes to Millennials. Often, with this group, the traditional tried and true methods don’t work. To be relevant and effective, marketers need to embrace new media channels and challenge the way they’ve always done things.

For Macallan Scotch, an out-of-the-box marketing approach not only energized their old brand—it also provided a fresh way for consumers to engage with them. By embracing social media and putting a new spin on an old tactic, Macallan captured a new audience and broadened their entire brand experience.

About the Author: cat-tonic

Born of curiosity and enthusiasm, we’re a scrappy group of smart, passionate marketers who work hard and play hard. We show up every day and fight for our clients who are making the world a better place. We listen with curiosity, explore deeply, ask hard questions, and sometimes put forth ideas that might make you squirm. Because we believe the status quo is good for growing mold but not much else. The way we see it, change is the way forward and the magic happens when curiosity, math, science, instinct, and talent intersect.
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