LCBO gives whiskey a go

'What's your Whiskey?' campaign features an Iron Chef-style event, celebrity interviews and in-store tastings.

Whiskey: it’s the stuff of rock stars and westerns, not necessarily of desserts and hors d’oeuvres, but the LCBO wants to change those popular perceptions with its new ‘What’s your Whiskey?’ campaign.

Kicking off this week and running for the next four, ‘What’s your Whiskey’ entails a multi-faceted media push including an Iron Chef-style, celebrity-judged cooking event, in-store promotions and tastings, radio ads, promotion on the LCBO site, and a glossy magazine-style insert in national daily newspapers. Media buying was by GJP and creative by Oxygen Design and Communications.

Targeting 70% males and 30% females, 35-plus, the goal was to introduce people to the whiskey brands and educate them about how it can be used in ways they might not have considered, Tricia Gadsden, manager, marketing and customer insights, LCBO, tells MiC. The cooking event and in-store tastings offered people a chance to answer the question, ‘what’s your whiskey?’ while the newspaper insert provides whiskey education.

The cook-off goes down in Toronto on Oct. 20, featuring two Toronto chefs battling to create a four-course menu integrating whiskey into each course. Celebrity judges, including Canadian singer Matt Dusk, will determine the winner. Dusk, a scotch aficionado, is something of a figurehead for the campaign, gracing the cover of the magazine-insert, judging and performing at the cooking event, and offering a free download of his new song on the whiskey-themed LCBO website for the duration of the campaign. ‘We’re hoping that [this campaign] engages people more so than just telling people what they can drink,’ Gadsden explains.