First Drinks Brands is abandoning pre-Christmas TV advertising for its South African cream liqueur, Amarula, in favour of a more targeted approach through retail outlets. The next two months is the peak season for the sector and the brand was supported in 2000 by £600,000 TV campaigns, but this year FDB is changing strategy. It has opted to spend the same amount on a retail brand experience' designed to grab consumers' attention instore where they will be offered samples in a savannah setting, complete with a 9ft high model of a marula tree along with elephant footprints, scents and videos of Africa. Four teams will visit Asda, Safeway, Sainsbury and Tesco stores for two days at a time finishing on Christmas Eve. The initiative is being handled by brand marketing agency, RPM. Its client services director Hugh Robertson said: "Christmas is a particularly difficult time to achieve awareness of the brand and get its message across, mainly because there is a huge increase in the number of products advertised. "This is not only a tasting exercise. It puts across the brand's personality and heritage and creates empathy with the consumers. "The multiples are looking to enhance the shopping experience and this is one solution to the problem of boring drinks aisles," he added. "This might not have the same reach as TV, but the impact it has on shoppers is much greater." Robertson said this was part of a major change taking place in the grocery environment fuelled by brand owners who wanted to talk to consumers more directly and drive sales. {{DRINKS }}