Building the Pernod Ricard Corporate Brand

While one hopes that the world will be back to dining out, travelling and entertaining soon, now that the vaccines are here, it appears that the Covid-19 mutating variants might have other plans. Either way, one hopes that people will soon be meeting each other again, at home and at bars and restaurants and catching up on good times.

I had worked on a corporate campaign for Seagram at the time it began operations in India, and later, on Passport Scotch Whisky among other Seagram brands, while at my second stint in Ogilvy Delhi in the 1990s. Therefore, I thought it might be a good idea to put down my thoughts on Pernod Ricard, which acquired large parts of the Seagram business in 2001. It is the world’s second largest wines and spirits company and yet you wouldn’t know it. Somehow, it has a very French image that probably comes from its pastis drinks.

I thought what could propel the company to the same league as Diageo, its biggest and closest competitor, though in financial terms there is quite a gulf that separates them. In this exercise, I had to rely on information on their corporate website and start with what I think should be the corporate vision for Pernod Ricard. And although any such exercise must always be conducted in discussion with the company’s top management, I decided to give it a shot on my own as there was no other alternative. I have also articulated what I think should be the company’s core defining values and how it ought to position itself for a 10-year strategy.

I recommend that they leverage a unique French characteristic when it comes to food and wine – albeit in an international way – to position themselves as global leaders, by helping their consumers better appreciate wines and spirits. Based on the corporate brand positioning strategy, I have also worked on a corporate brand campaign for Pernod Ricard in print, TV/video, and digital as well as their website. You can read about the corporate brand strategy as well as the campaign ideas in the document below.

Since I couldn’t possibly have made the TV adverts with stock footage, I have left them as scripts in the main document. However, layouts and designs for the print campaign are in the pdf file below. I must once again clarify that I am not an art director or designer, yet have had to design these campaigns on my own, in addition to having ideated and written them. You will find two different executions of the same campaign; it is possible that the second one with the drinks glasses might work better in newspapers, while the first one better in magazines. I wouldn’t recommend running both at the same time, however.

Next, I suggest they redo their website in the main strategy document, and you can view what the home page would look like below.

I would recommend a looped video montage as the main visual on the home page, which captures the world of Pernod Ricard and its legendary wines and spirits brands, as in the sample gif I have created here.

Looped video banner for Pernod Ricard website home page

Finally, as I say in the main strategy document, Pernod Ricard should use the digital medium for direct response and PR. The main objective of the digital campaign is to announce the creation of a club of connoisseur drinkers and to acquire members. The idea in the digital campaign is to invite people to become members of an exclusive club, through lines that speak of savoir faire and visuals that depict videos inside a glass. One of the activities of the club would also be to run wine and whisky appreciation courses online for its members, which the last advert in the set below specifically addresses.

There will, of course, be need for plenty of communication within the company as well, in order to orient employees towards the new vision, core values and corporate strategy, globally.

Here is hoping that Pernod Ricard will emerge from the pandemic, ready to embark on a new journey of leadership in the global wines and spirits industry. Salut!

The stock images used in the print campaigns and website for Pernod Ricard are from Pixabay and Unsplash, while the stock footage used in the website video banner and the digital campaign are from and I am grateful to all of them.