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M&C Saatchi London Tells the #CouldBeTrue Story of Ballantine's

M&C Saatchi London, 3 years ago

Agency shows what could have happened if the brand had taken an alternative path

M&C Saatchi London Tells the #CouldBeTrue Story of Ballantine's

Conceived and produced by M&C Saatchi London, The Could-Be-True Story of Ballantine’s takes viewers on an unpredictable and humorous journey through a world of fictional products, including Ballantine’s Finest Pickled Eggs (aged 10 years) and QR-code bottles, with a dose of dubstep thrown in for good measure, illustrating what could have happened had Ballantine’s not stayed true to founder George Ballantine’s vision. Aspects of the brand’s true heritage are revealed along the way, with a second, complementary film – The Stay True Story of Ballantine’s – also created for viewers to then recount the real history of Ballantine’s.

To drive engagement, a social media campaign will see the story opened up to the public, with Twitter users being asked at launch to suggest their own #CouldBeTrue ideas of things that Ballantine’s could have done, with Ballantine’s responding and sharing mocked-up designs of these suggestions. The campaign will also be shared across Ballantine’s global platforms and further amplified in key markets around the world, supported by a media outreach programme and seeding activity to “whet the appetite” of relevant bloggers and media through unique, direct mail gifts.

This new campaign is the latest in a series of successful marketing initiatives from Ballantine’s, which has seen the brand make a concerted effort to connect with consumers through digital media. This consumer engagement strategy is paying off, with Ballantine’s showing a strong performance* in key markets such as South Africa (109% annual growth), Brazil (51% annual growth), India (18% annual growth), and Poland (13% annual growth).

Ballantine’s Global Brand Director, Peter Moore, comments: “As a brand that prides itself on its reputation for innovation, we have long understood the potential that engaging, digital content provides, allowing us to connect with the modern whisky drinker. With these new films, we’re aiming to tell the story of Ballantine’s in a surprising and light-hearted manner, and one that is unexpected of a Scotch whisky brand. We are hopeful that this approach will capture the attention of our audience, showing them that whilst Ballantine’s is a well-established brand with a long history of tradition, we have a sense of humour and an individual style, making us a brand that remains relevant today.” 

M&C Saatchi London, Global Client Director, Jeremy Hemmings, added: “We are hugely excited to launch this latest Ballantine’s Stay True campaign. We’ve had a great time delving into Ballantine’s rich history and using some creative licence to highlight just how the brand has always stuck to what they do best. The result of which is this engaging, humorous campaign that really showcases what Ballantine’s is all about – Staying True.”


Advertiser: Ballantine's

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: M&C Saatchi London

Art Director: David Lawrie

Copywriter: Matt Roach

Executive Creative Director: Simon Dicketts

Producer: Mary Fostiropoulos

Music and Sound

Audio Post Production: Factory

Music Production: Alex Ball


Edit Company: Final Cut

Editor: Ed Line

Post Production / VFX

Colourist: Julien Biard

Flame: Andy Copping

Post Production House: Finish

Production Company

Director: Edward Housden

DOP: Sam Goldie

Executive Producer: Rupert Reynolds-MacLean

Producer: Emory Ruegg

Production Assistant: Boris Becker

Production Company: Indy8

Production Designer: Polly Philip

Production Manager: Sophie Murphy

Category: Alcoholic drinks , Spirits

Genre: Comedy , Digital , Storytelling