How to go ‘Father’ by educating and convert gifting shoppers

Glenfiddich wanted to bring a taste of their single malt to a new audience of Father’s Day gift-givers, who had no experience or knowledge of whisky.

With single malt being a notoriously complicated and alienating topic, full of jargon and confusing price points, Glenfiddich needed stand-out in-store activation that would make it accessible, without dumbing down the brand’s premium proposition.


Our retail expertise tells us time and again that consumers increasingly seek elevated in-store experiences. This Father’s Day was no different. Thanks to decades of collaborating with retail partners, we also knew that Sainsbury’s in-store strategy was to give shoppers just that. For a product as captivating as Glenfiddich’s, our behind-the-scenes knowledge opened the door to an exciting new line of thinking, and a disruptive seasonal activation that would thrill retailers, shoppers and lucky fathers alike.


To drive an uplift in sales, we needed to get Glenfiddich noticed by an entirely new shopper. Our research revealed a significant opportunity: women between 18 and 40 buying impulse Father’s Day gifts. But this group is far from Glenfiddich’s bull’s-eye consumer. We realised a bottle of single malt wasn’t even on their radar, let alone knowing how to navigate the range. To others, targeting this inexperienced audience would be unthinkable. To us: it was too good an opportunity to miss. Thirsty for the challenge, we tasked our top strategic thinkers and creative minds to educate our audience on Glenfiddich, and empower them to buy a bottle for Father’s Day.


When it comes to educating consumers in store, ‘show, don’t tell’ is lesson #1, and we’re first in class. Our permanent luxury activation in Harrods, also for Glenfiddich, taught us when tasting isn’t an option, sensory cues like aroma are a priceless way to bring a product to life. Where supermarket aisles typically focus on shoppers’ sight alone, we knew we could tap into their other senses with an immersive execution that would educate practically, without the complex lectures.

“The Glenfiddich Father’s Day activity carried out was second to none, breaking down the barriers of single malt. It was easy to understand and simply linked to the relevant Father persona, providing reassurance to gifters through an elevated and interactive experience. The trial & conversion results speak for themselves.”
Stephen RutherfordBrand Manager Glenfiddich


Tried-and-tested thinking met boundary-breaking creative in our experimental new concept: the Aroma Lab. By profiling Glenfiddich’s product lines, we distilled each product SKU into a recognisable persona and digestible tasting notes to empower even total whisky novices. For example, the Distinguished Dad was best-suited to the Glenfiddich 15-year-old whisky, whereas the Experimental Dad might prefer the Glenfiddich IPA. At-fixture, shoppers could press interactive aroma buttons, bringing truly nose- and eye-catching innovation to the seasonal Father’s Day aisle. From brief to shelf, we planned, created and produced the entire project in just 12 weeks across 391 Sainsbury’s stores.


Backed by decades of shopper know-how, our insightful new audience profile and inventive activation was undeniably bold but unsurprisingly brilliant. The Aroma Lab delivered an impressive 147% year-on-year increase for the Glenfiddich range. And despite rarely setting foot in the beer, wines and spirits aisle, 51% of shoppers were new to the category. Where in-store sampling took place, Glenfiddich IPA saw its biggest two weeks of sales in history, with a 433% sales uplift.

No wonder the Aroma Lab won POPAI Gold Award for Shopper Campaign of the Year.