Mcwilliams Wines Design & Branding THE PREMISE by SapientNitro Sydney


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Industry Wine & Champagne
Media Design & Branding
Market Australia
Agency SapientNitro Sydney
Executive Creative Director James Burchill, Nancy Hartley
Creative Director Scot 'skip' Waterhouse
Art Director Matt Arbon, Alex Addlem
Copywriter Isabella Hiew
Released June 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Online Digital Design
Product/Service: DRAMBUIE
Date of First Appearance: Jun 15 2010
Entrant Company: SAPIENTNITRO, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Entry URL:
Art Director: Matt Arbon (SapientNitro)
Art Director: Alex Addlem (SapientNitro)
Senior Digital: Garth Sykes (SapientNitro)
Copywriter: Isabella Hiew (SapientNitro)
Copywriter/Digital Strategist: Ravi Prasad (SapientNitro)
Executive Creative Director: James Burchill (SapientNitro)
Executive Creative Director: Nancy Hartley (SapientNitro)
Creative Director: Scot Waterhouse (SapientNitro)
Group Account Director: Marina Earp (SapientNitro)
Illustrator/Designer/Animator: Alex Varanese (Alex Varanese)
Interactive Developer: Jake Pospischil (SapientNitro)
Interactive Developer: Dan Treichel (SapientNitro)
Senior Digital Producer: Jason Kibsgaard (SapientNitro)
Strategy: Stuart Poignand (SapientNitro)
Media placement: Website - Online - 15th June 2010

Describe the brief from the client
Drambuie was a brand teetering on the brink. It was unfashionable, and only consumed by grandparents at Christmas. The brief from McWilliam’s Wines, distributor of Drambuie in Australia, was to reinvigorate the brand by introducing it to a new generation of drinkers - the lucrative but hard to impress Gen Y market.
Our goal was to develop a deeply engaging consumer program that captured the power of opinion leaders and got them talking about Drambuie as ‘the Spirit that Inspires’.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
The key objective was to introduce the brand to a younger market. Gen Ys are driven by individuality but ultimately want to be a part of the coolest things. They often dream about living a different life and escaping the daily grind. ‘The Premise’ was born out of these insights, offering ‘one shot to create and run your own bar’.
A call for entries seeded through influential bloggers and media channels drove visits to the website. The website was designed to encourage exploration, making it easy for entrepreneurial Gen Ys to engage with and discover more about Drambuie.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
We needed a design that tipped its hat to the heritage and premium nature of the brand, whilst signalling that a new and cool transformation had begun. We commissioned Alex Varanese, a popular illustrator on the international design scene, and worked closely with him to create the effect of ‘deconstructing and rebuilding’ a bar as the user moves through the different sections. Flash animations were layered on top of and behind the artist’s 3D sequences to create a dynamic, seamless interface. The overall design represents the idea of an urban bar that could become whatever you imagined it to be.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
Influential bloggers engaged with the brand and promoted The Premise through their respective communities. Across the 18 week long campaign, 25,000 tipping point Gen Ys visited the virtual Premise.
The winning entry, The Doghouse, became Sydney’s most talked about new bar, exceeding capacity every night. Over 9 nights, 6,000 new patrons were introduced to Drambuie as a mixer.
The campaign reached all objectives set and has become an ongoing platform to engage, with The Premise II set to launch in June 2011.