In the spirit of Festivus, Dewar’s Scotch Whiskey, a 200-year-old brand, is playing to history for the second year in a row with a PR effort centered on a grassroots holiday called “Repeal Day.”
Marking the official end of prohibition on Dec. 5, 1933, the initial buzz for such a day had its origins in the blogosphere last year before Dewar’s took the idea mainstream with a campaign shortly after.
Repeal Day (December 5th) is not celebrated by anyone in this country, yet it is the only day which truly has any connection with alcohol. December 5th is the anniversary of the day the United States repealed the Eighteenth Amendment and gave us all the constitutional right to consume alcohol. I’ve been celebrating Repeal Day for years by forcing this information down the throats of my customers, and now I’m forcing it on you.
Dewar’s contacted Morgenthaler last year and the budding movement has hit bars and liquor stores from Oregon to Brooklyn.
Dewar's showed some solid strategic thinking by getting in on the event from the beginning. The brand has also brought in David Beckwith, a Rogers & Cowan veteran who runs his own eponymous shop in Los Angeles, to handle PR for Repeal Day.
This year, Dewar's is planning a year-long series of events starting Dec. 5 to mark the 75th anniversary of prohibition. It is looking for Americans who were around when the U.S. welcomed liquor back to its shores in '33. Here's their appeal:
Just as ships carrying Dewar’s Scotch Whiskey waited offshore for the stroke of midnight on a cold winter night in 1933, today Dewar’s eagerly anticipates the Dec. 5 “Repeal Day” celebrating the 21st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that ended Prohibition. To help Americans commemorate the day, Dewar's is looking for senior citizens who remember Prohibition...and the day it was repealed. Folks who remember December 5, 1933, and have a good story to tell, are asked to call a toll-free number: 1-800-518-0887 or email RepealDayMemories@gmail.com.
Liquor marketing is no stranger to controversy and ire from interest groups, but it can also exhibit some of the more creative and innovative advertising and PR work in the consumer space.