The First Drinks brand is launching a global series of afternoon tea events an English pursuit not known to get pulses racing apart from the fact it has teamed up with fundraising events company The Adventurists.
Together they will host "curious and adventuresome events", starting with an afternoon tea featuring yachtsman Sir Chay Blyth in London on 5 February.
A series of "unusual exhibits" will also be on display, along with aerial acrobats. Tea parties featuring other "legends of adventure" will be held in Edinburgh, New York and Madrid. It follows single malt Glenfiddich's rejection of traditional "heather and weather" imagery to focus on people's life ambitions in its current One Day You Will campaign, launched in November. Diageo brand Talisker has also featured crashing seas in its first marketing push, Made by the Sea, at the end of 2010, which contrasted "the experience of standing by a rugged coastline" to drinking Talisker.
"All sorts of spirits brands are trying to create experiences now, especially in trying to target a younger group," said Daniella Betts, consultant at branding agency The Value Engineers. "For example Johnnie Walker's Keep Walking campaign, about the journey we're all on.
"There is an influx of adventure-themed marketing because these days status isn't judged by what you own, but by what you do. Social networking is all about sharing experiences."
Off-trade retailers are increasingly looking for theatre in store, according to Hendrick's global brand manager Deirdre Clark, who said a resurgence in the popularity of gin had helped drive Hendrick's sales 24% in value and 19.5% in volume [Nielsen 52w/e 25 December]. "It's about giving consumers a different experience. We don't use standard promotional techniques," she said.
Hendrick's will also be bringing its gift packs, previously only sold in global travel retail, to the off-trade this year, she added.