Saturday, March 18, 2006

Consolidating the market?

On Saint Patricks day, the Irish Embassador to Spain kindly laid on a reception in his lavish residence for the Irish community based in Madrid. Of course being the day that was in it, I like many of the other invitees was delighted with the opportunity to mingle with fellow hibernians and surround myself with a cocktail of Irish accents, shamrocked lapels, pints of Guinness and smiling celtic faces.

Of course it goes without saying that a gathering such as this will naturally produce a long list of memorable moments, with chief among these certainly being the absurd sight of a Jameson Whiskey promotion present at the proceedings. Suffice to say that this consisted of nothing more than three blonde bombshells swaggering about the room with trays of the said drink for us leering punters to try. However being common practise in Spain I would usually give very little thought to this welcome marketing stunt as I am not at all a whiskey drinker. That is mind you, if it were not for the fact that this was the very first time during my three year tenure in Spain that I have ever seen Jameson in any way attempting to plug their product.

The reason I find this ridiculous fact worth mentioning is that almost all of my Spanish friends are first and foremost whiskey drinkers, who I generally regard to be very aware of the various distilled tastes available to them. Strangely however, while this may be the case, few of these Madrid revellers have ever even heard of our precious Jameson label. Furthermore, on first learning of it (no doubt through me), they immediately assume Jameson to be of an inferior quality to the well known whiskeys of our neighbouring Scotland.

This for me is a truly pathetic situation as in the last ten years, Spain has been identified by most distillers as a huge new whiskey market with limitless growth potential. Unfortunately as you can see, this fact seems to have somehow slipped by those of the Dublin distillery. But even so, what I fail to comprehend most is that of all the places to finally promote themselves, they incredibly chose to go to a party of hardened Irish drinkers!! How wrong can you get it !! Why were they not down the street in the American Embassy or better still, making use of the famed “Irish day”, that is celebrated by all of Madrid, and productively visiting the local Spanish bars and discos?

But perhaps I am being too critical. Perhaps they achieved their simple objective of holding on to some age old afficionados. I'll just put it down to market consolidation.

No comments: