34° launch Savanna’s new special release rum-flavoured cider through an innovative BTL approach

After the roaring success of Savanna Loco, the tequila-flavoured Savanna variant, the Savanna marketing team recognised a gap in the market: millennials want something unique that taps into the recent “craft” trend that has taken the world by storm. With this insight, the task was set to launch another special release that would further cement Savanna as an unapologetic and innovative brand.

To launch Savanna Blackbeard, the brand’s newest rum-flavoured cider, into the South African market, the brand decided to use an innovative BTL approach.

34° created a campaign that not only gave consumers a chance to try the product and live its message, but also immerse themselves in a world so far removed from their daily lives that it was sure to leave a lasting impression. 

As a special release, the scarcity of product lent itself to a very simple idea: we could choose who would be lucky enough to try it. It meant that it would only be for the chosen few, a sentiment that sat perfectly with Savanna’s new positioning and payoff line, “Savanna, the unapologetic cider”. 

Savanna Blackbeard inspired the creation of a launch idea that brought to life a merchant market that you would find in an olden day shipyard. The launch event was held at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg’s Braamfontein, where only the chosen few were immersed in the world of BlackBeard. There were different characters played by actors, as well as real-life tricksters and tattoo artists, harlots offering a night of fun, and palm readers. 

These ‘piratesque’ characters were all tasked with hustling guests out of the coins they had received at the beginning of the night and providing guests with clues that helped them unlock the main treasure of the evening: Savanna’s new, exclusive elixir. The merchant market was then turned into a party of epic proportions where pirates, tarot card readers, and blacksmiths all joined in on the fun within the Savanna Blackbeard world. 

In the build-up to the event a digital campaign, conceptualised and implemented by Distell’s digital partner, Mirum, saw virtual ships in bottles with storms brewing, Blackbeard’s talking parrot, and the chance to win R15,000 in treasure. Influencers received cryptic treasure chests with secret compartments, sent to them by PR agency Have You Heard. 

Distell kept the special release trend going by approaching unconventional venues to stock the new Savanna that were the right fit. 

Through a bold approach Savanna and 34° were able to launch a new variant through a less conventional approach that stands to connect with millenials in a way that is powerful enough to build a deep and long-lasting relationship. 

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