Pernod Ricard has walked away from traditional advertising in favour of partnerships and event sponsorships as it drives growth for Mumm in the Australian market.
Pernod Ricard Pacific managing director Bryan Fry told The Australian Financial Review: “We hardly do anything ‘above the line’ for champagne anymore.
“The idea of running a TV campaign and getting massive awareness and brand conversion immediately, those days are declining. We believe that you can do more with an experience or through an association than you can with putting up a picture on a billboard.”
One of the key drivers has been the brand’s association with the Victorian Racing Club (VRC), plus winter activations at Thredbo coinciding with the ski season.
It’s rumoured to cost anything from $1-2.5 million to lease, construct and cater a marquee for the Birdcage at Melbourne Cup, but Fry believes it’s worth every cent.
“There is no race meeting in the world that captures the attention of the public like the Melbourne Cup,” he told Drinks Bulletin. “It’s also quite rare to find an event where we can showcase our brand in such a prestigious way. Those platforms are very hard to find globally.”
The result has been Mumm becoming the top selling Champagne in Australia, one of the few markets in the world that it holds that place ahead of LVMH and its flagship Moet.
Fry says that there’s plenty of growth remaining in the local market.
“Champagne as a category is still growing … in the above $60 space we are seeing double-digit growth for champagne,” Fry said.
Australians popped the corks on a record 8.53 million bottles of Champagne last year, a jump of 16% on the previous 12 months.
“This unprecedented growth positioned Australia as the fastest-growing of champagne’s top 10 markets by both volume and value in 2017,’’ Champagne writer Tyson Stelzer told News Corp. “That’s phenomenal.”
The next frontier for Pernod Ricard is rosé and vintage champagne, with company research showing Australian champagne drinkers buy fewer bottles of those than any other developed market.
Pictured main: Dynasty actress Nathalie Kelley was drenched in champagne after sabreing an oversized bottle at the Mumm marquee on Melbourne Cup day.