Giving the smooth approach a try

WHYTE and Mackay is ready to roar with a new partnership that will see it sponsor the Lions’ 2017 tour to New Zealand.

The Surprisingly Smooth campaign features ‘dapper lions’.

The sponsorship signals the blended Scotch whisky brand’s first sponsorship of an international sports event.

Whyte & Mackay has said that, in addition to a shared use of the lion (Whyte & Mackay has used lions on its branding for over 170 years), it also shares a similar ethos to the Lions rugby team; just as its top players are selected from Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, Whyte & Mackay’s blending process brings together single malts from the Highland and Speyside regions of Scotland.

Throughout the rugby team’s tour of New Zealand this year, Whyte & Mackay will undertake a co-branded marketing campaign, which includes on and off-trade support.

Chief amongst the sponsorship is the ‘Surprisingly Smooth’ campaign, which features ‘dapper’ lions. Created by photographer and digital artist Tim Flach, the lions are said to “challenge perceptions [of] blended whisky and highlight Whyte & Mackay’s smoother, richer taste”.

The sponsorship will also include a raft of out of home advertising, as well as promotion over digital and social media.

Bryan Donaghey, chief executive at Whyte & Mackay, said: “The double lion icon has been part of our brand since the beginning, and that’s just one parallel between the Whyte & Mackay brand and The British & Irish Lions.

“We are both brilliantly blended – while the Lions take the best rugby players and bring them together for great results, here at Whyte & Mackay, we combine the best single malt and grain whiskies to create our award-winning blended whisky.”