The Glenlivet had long been the number 2 Single Malt by volume sales globally, with the ambition to take the top spot. Having brought Founders Reserve, a non-aged expression, into the core portfolio there was a need to develop an education programme to drive trial and appreciation of each of the expressions in the range, without talking about the age statement.

The Challenge

Grow market share globally by driving trial of existing and new expressions in the portfolio. And force reappraisal by changing perceptions of a non-age statement single malt from being low in quality, to high quality and approachable whisky.

The Insight

We knew that while age statements were a well-recognised short-cut for consumers to determine quality they were in fact a red herring. While a long ageing process results in a lesser volume of liquid due to the ‘angels share’, and a liquid that has taken in more tannin from the barrels it lies in those factors do not alone make for a better single malt whisky.

We needed to drive trial in a way that focussed on flavour and enjoyment of the whisky alone, and then educate consumers on the art & science used by the Master Distiller and his team to craft the unique flavour profile of each expression.

The Wonder

We developed Sensology, an immersive education experience which make use of all of the senses to determine an appreciation of each expression in the range.

Working with a Flavour Scientist we built an educational experience which taught the consumer how to fully ‘taste’ each expression by making use of all of their senses. Before beginning any education the consumer was immersed into a multi-sensory experience – tasting unique cocktails, transported by a 360 panoramic timelapse film to the home of The Glenlivet distillery in Speyside and surrounded by bespoke ‘scent of Speyside’ aromas.

Taking inspiration from the way the Master Distiller and his team undertake quality checks on the liquid we brought the classic tasting format to a new level by introducing a blind tasting, forcing appreciation of the liquid on flavour alone. A gamification element was used to ensure the format was less lecture, more edutainment, and deliver the surprising results that many people preferred the flavour of the unaged, or lower aged expression that the high age statements that had previously said they preferred.

 The blind tasting format force each person to challenge their own perception of flavour, and backed up with education each person learnt which expression really was their favourite, and why.

The programmes was devised in such a way that it could be rolled out across all global markets. With enough flex to select different expressions and still present a consistent brand experience globally.

Early success of the event format meant we were asked to develop the concept to be used for the on trade and travel retail channel, resulting in a Virtual Reality element to the tasting experience.

Concept Development | Flexible Education Programme | Consumer and Trade Creative Asset Development | Toolkit



The Founders Reserve exceeded expectation in volume sales and it introduction to the portfolio has pushed The Glenlivet to be the number 1 single malt whisky in the World. The Sensology programme was a core communications tool used across multiple channels to drive trial, education, purchase and advocacy around the new expression,
and the whole range.