Mason & Summers Alcobev Ltd, part of the Vangal-managed Katra Group, was in the news lately, for having bolstered its brand portfolio with two new whiskies – Glen Drummond, a locally bottled Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and Royal Crown, a Scotch blended grain-based Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) offering. Now that the launches are in place, the company has signed on Contract Bangalore for its creative portfolio; the business currently ranges anywhere between Rs 5 to 7 crore. The company asserts that liquor business is just one part of its product portfolio and that it intends to get into categories such as travel and leisure activities.
Ashish Mishra, Vice President, Mason & Summers, asserts, “We have close ties with the WPP group, more so Contract, which is why we decided to allot the creative part of the business to them. The company’s founder Ramesh Vangal was associated with Pepsi for quite a while, where he came in contact with JWT officials. Since Contract is a sister concern, it’s all in the same family. Again, we feel that Contract has been very insightful as far as our business is concerned, and they have given us some great inputs on both creative and strategy. Their perception matches our vision for the brand.”
Mishra goes on, “We have already taken on a lot many promotional activities for our single malt scotch brand in Calcutta, which includes sampling and events. We would be exploring mass media in the near future, as and when we would be extending the Marson & Summers name to other products and would devise a corporate campaign of sorts. Our activity would then be multi-pronged, extending to various offerings within the same casket.”
Speaking on the development, Dipak Marwah, Senior Vice President, Contract Bangalore refers to the Mason & Summers account as a significant win for the agency. “It is an upcoming liquor brand and intends to capture a sufficient share of the market. Their media plan in the current day comprises mainly of promotional initiatives and below-the-line activities. Mass Media would come in later, as and when the product range is extended. We bagged this account, after repeated interactions with the client and a couple of presentations wherein we talked about the liquor market as a whole, and the positioning that Mason & Summers ought to take keeping in mind the competition.”
Marwah adds, “The brand intrigues us and we think that there is a lot of scope for some fantastic creative output. We are going to act as the perfect launch pad for the brand.”
The nine-month old Mason & Summers - Katra acquired an operating distillery in Scotland, which belonged to Scotch major Inver House and as a part of a strategic relationship with the latter, had earlier launched Wild Horse Whisky, a regular priced IMFL product. It later extended the brand to brandy and rum flavors. The Wild Horse brand averages monthly sales of about 50,000 cases.
The company claims that Glen Drummond - an eight-year-old matured offering – was the first locally bottled Single Malt Scotch Whisky in India. It had the initial launch in Kolkata, where it retails at Rs 1,550 per quart. The price will be calibrated according to the local factors as the brand extends into other markets.