Sohini Sen

Grant's India has a job you cannot refuse

The Scotch whisky brand has launched a digital campaign to search for its brand ambassador as well as to provide DIY lessons on mixing cocktails.

Travel to exotic locations, talk to interesting people, get paid to party and sit on a coveted throne - sounds like a dream? Grant's India promises to make this dream a reality for the one person who will be chosen to be its brand ambassador.

In a first for any brand in India, the iconic blended Scotch whisky brand from the premium spirits company of William Grant & Sons, has launched #StandTogether - a campaign that searches for the perfect brand ambassador for the company. Named 'The Awesome Job', the campaign hinges on social participation to search for the person. As such, one cannot apply for the position, but can be voted by four (or more) friends.

Grant's India has a job you cannot refuse
Shweta Jain, India marketing head at William Grant & Sons, says, "We wanted to speak to a person who is not just present online, but also influences his peer group, and has an adventurous, passionate outlook on life. The Grant's way says that when the right people stand together, great things happen. It's actually the Grant's way to activate friendships towards shared success."
Grant's India has a job you cannot refuse
Handling the creative and digital duties for the campaign is Sapient Nitro, which recently gave India an engaging campaign for DBS Bank called 'Chilli Paneer'. According to KV Sridhar, chief creative officer, SapientNitro India, the brief for the agency was to build awareness from almost zero and, at the same time, make it interesting.

"We thought about doing it in a different but real way. The idea for a brand ambassador also made sense because we wanted to promote the product to the same people who want to apply for the job. The more the client is trying to talk to people, the more affinity it will have," explains Sridhar.

The campaign is being promoted on Facebook. So far, over 850 applicants have applied with 10 per cent participation conversion. The Facebook page for Grant's India has also seen a spike in 'likes' from almost negligible to 880,000 fans who have cast around 1,200 votes so far.

Grant's India has a job you cannot refuse

The brand is trying to keep up the momentum by organising a 'do it yourself' or DIY cocktail lessons. Here, interested participants will be guided to make their own mix of cocktails in lounges, bars and pubs in places such as Cyber-hubs, Sector 29 and Hauz Khas in New Delhi. The regular visitors here overlap with the brand's TG - the young, affluent, 20-30-year-olds from urban cities. While Delhi, with its start-ups and experimental food culture, is a big focus area for the brand, even Bengaluru, Mumbai and Chandigarh are of importance.

While the company's other offerings like Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Hendrick's Gin have a decent following in India, Grant's still has to pick up pace. To be fair, it has entered the country only a couple of months back, and a campaign to search for a young brand ambassador may just click with the TG.

Blends well?

Grant's India has a job you cannot refuse
Grant's India has a job you cannot refuse
To Lakshmipati Bhat, VP, corporate communications, Robosoft, the campaign is similar to one of Miller's search for a brand ambassador some years ago.

Nevertheless, Bhat says, "It is an effective way to bring evangelists into the brand fold. I am not sure what the equity of Grant's is among the target audience, but given the high-profile nature of the job, I am sure it would attract many. Also, youngsters are seeking unconventional jobs and vocations, so the objective of hiring brand ambassadors is likely to be met."

To Kushal Sanghvi, business head, Reliance Entertainment and Digital, this marks the new world of hiring in India.

"Grant's is a destination that changes the name of the game and plays a role of getting a job through social nominations and, thus, also brings closer the role of social media in the job hunting process. The advertising is definitely going to make people stand up and notice it, and it works for a TG that is perhaps in the junior management roles and not for senior roles," he comments.

Sanghvi feels that the product thought is great and the communication is rather straight-forward for a launch. However, he says, "They could have tried to be more edgy to make a larger audience take note, given the youth are exposed to so much communication from brands/ advertisers today, that to stand out and get them to actually believe/ try out is a task. Also, they need to make their communication more believable - that getting jobs will now perhaps be done this way - which I think would be the biggest challenge that the brand will face as they need to have a buy in."

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