The marketing campaign has included “new broadcast, digital video and radio, extensive social media, a revamp of our drink strategy and new in-store and on-premise bar activations,” according to Peddy. He added that the company’s Brand Meister (brand master), Willy Shine, has been instrumental in the revamp, creating a new drink strategy that “reflects the diversity of the brand” by including “new innovative cocktails, classic cocktail variations, and shot and specialty beer pairings.”
But why the sudden drastic shift from red solo cups to the so-called “Meister of Cold?”
Peddy explained that their consumers have an “appreciation for the people, heritage and product quality that goes into a brand.” That’s why every aspect of the new branding touches on “every pillar of the brand’s identity,” including its alchemist heritage in the forests and the streets; “dark fun” (which Peddy noted was “dry humor with a German twist”); and the brand’s [aesthetic] of the stag, the cross and the three colors of green, gold and amber.
Of course, a sudden craving for authenticity isn’t the only reason Jäger would take such drastic measures. According to Erica Carranza, vp of consumer psychology at market research and strategy firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, abandoning the “frat boy and Red Bull” image is an obvious and necessary strategy.
Perhaps in an effort to do just that, Jägermeister turned to the most controversial generation of modern time: millennials. Jäger’s previous target demographic was fairly large—21- to 39-year-olds. However, in 2015, the brand shifted focus to 21- to 29-year-olds, with a heavy emphasis on what Peddy calls the “sweet spot,” ages 21 to 24. “With the new positioning, the brand’s objective is for consumers to reconsider Jägermeister as a cool, aspirational, and premium brand,” Peddy said.
But will this new positioning alienate its prior fan base?
Not if they do it right, according to Sandy Rubinstein, CEO of full-service digital marketing and advertising firm DXagency. By concentrating on heightening its image from party to premium—especially by highlighting the spirit’s 56 ingredients and subtly changing the bottle design—Jäger is growing up alongside its initial loyal fan base among partying Gen-Xers, Rubenstein said. “There is a tremendous value to being a product that consumers are introduced to early, but those same consumers are now interested in what’s in the bottle and that’s a tremendous opportunity for the brand to capitalize on,” Rubinstein said.