Seizing a world of opportunities

As the digital world continues to grow, we find ourselves spending more time online than ever before. New virtual spaces such as the metaverse offer unprecedented opportunities for brands to connect with consumers in an authentic, memorable way. Hélène Chaplain, Chief Information Officer; Pierre-Yves Calloc’h, Chief Digital Officer; and Eric Benoist, Group Marketing and Commercial Director, explain how Pernod Ricard is creating moments of conviviality online.

Social interactions are increasingly moving online. How does this impact our ability to create human connection?

Hélène Chaplain: Connections will be amplified by the fusion of physical and digital universes, extending into new realities and metaverses. Connecting individuals and groups will span broader occasions and places thanks to technologies like Web3, the Metaverse and Blockchain, to name just a few. The combination of data and technology also allows for more personalised, timely and intentional connections between brands and consumers, and creates exciting opportunities for us to shape and deliver convivial moments.

Pierre-Yves Calloc’h: The virtual world is an opportunity to connect with new generations of consumers. We’ve already begun launching major activations across digital spaces, pioneering new forms of conviviality for a new generation of consumers. The Group even has a Metaverse Taskforce - convivialists from all Group functions working together to identify opportunities in the virtual world and transform them into concrete actions. They select projects and partners to accelerate our online presence, and guide brands and markets looking to break into this space.

Can you provide some examples of how the Group is bringing about these new digital moments of conviviality?

Eric Benoist: This year, Ballantine’s launched a long-term partnership with the online game Borderlands, appointing the game’s infamous bartender Mad Moxxi as its first Chief Galactic Expansion Officer. The partnership has gone beyond its online presence with a limited-edition Borderlands x Ballantine’s bottle, which was available both within the game and physically in stores. Fans who bought the bottle in real life unlocked exclusive Borderlands content in the game.

Pierre-Yves Calloc’h: We’re also leveraging the possibilities offered by non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Royal Salute released two NFTs in the last year, one for the release of Royal Salute 51 Year Old in December 2021 and the second for Royal Salute House of Quinn by Richard Quinn in February 2022. These releases allowed us to connect with a new kind of whisky connoisseur. Seagram’s 100 Pipers whisky also launched India’s first environment-themed NFTs titled “Now Funding Tomorrow” on Earth Day, with proceeds from the sales going to the AROH Foundation and supporting a tree planting initiative across India.

Has the Group already created any metaverse experiences?

Eric Benoist: Earlier this year, Absolut complemented its real-life partnership with Coachella with a metaverse activation, creating a virtual space in Decentraland called Absolut.Land. A convergence of art, fashion, music and, of course, cocktails, Absolut.Land allowed Coachella attendees and fans at home to mix and share convivial experiences in a world that encapsulated the spirit of the brand and the music festival. It was a huge success, with 30,000 virtual visitors and around 1.5 billion earned media impressions.

Hélène Chaplain: Absolut.Land is a great example of how digital experiences enable consumers to enjoy moments of conviviality even if they are physically by themselves. Distance is no longer a barrier to mixing with others, as everyone can find a sense of conviviality and belonging in the metaverse.

  • 1.5Bn earned media impressions from Absolut.Land
  • $35K price for which the Royal Salute 51-Year-Old NFT sold