Insight & Opinion



February 1st, 2024

January Retail Highlights

As expected, Jan was a drier month, but we've caught some energising activations, kicking off with the No & Low theme. With health top of peoples' minds, Lucky Saint, invested in getting the nation active via an in-store pop-up pub, social runs and more. We also captured gin cocktail-shaking exercises from Hendrick's. We hope you enjoy this first edition of 2024!

Active Dry Jan

“I love a novel entry mechanism and this integration with Strava is a good one. With many people becoming more active and alcohol free during January, both the timing and offer here are perfect. As a keen Strava user myself, I entered this promotion and won a money off coupon as a result. Great stuff!” - GC View

Lucky Saint teamed up with physical exercise tracking system Strava again this year, inspiring people with challenges, rewards and prizes to be won.

  • The ‘Lucky Saint Strava Club’ invited members to record 120 minutes of activity between 5th and the 15th January
  • Participants were given the chance to win a weekend away, vouchers worth £500 or £1000 and a year’s worth of Lucky Saint beer, in a free prize draw
  • Participants were also offered a free pint at Lucky Saint pub if they showed their completion badge
    There were 130,448 participants

Catching consumers

“Some lovely activations from Lucky Saint, the right product, in the right place at the right time. It will be interesting to see if they can build on this throughout the year. My money is on the fact that they can!” - GC View

Extending the brand’s fitness campaign, Lucky Saint also launched a take-over of the wine bar in the King’s Cross Waitrose store, serving alcohol-free beer on draught.

  • As part of the activation, a partnership with Peloton, was leveraged to offer shoppers who purchased a Lucky Saint 4-pack, the chance to win a bike and membership
  • Additionally, the brand organized a social run with Technogym and a pub-ride out with Le Col
  • Non-fitness activities included a Dry Jan Pairing Dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Manchester, a comedy night with a free pint in Notting Hill and Beer Pong at a London pub

Cocktails gym

“Hendrick's has surely 'Stanley cupped' the gym water bottle, re-creating its signature bottle to help you through a tough workout with thoughts of a post-gym G&T. That said, my opinion of Hendrick's as a poshly comical but high-end gin is tainted by the unnecessarily low-end campaign film. That bit didn't workout for me.” - GC View

Another no/low brand dedicated to getting the nation’s drinkers moving this January was Hendrick's Gin, which rebranded to Henrick's Gym for the month!

  • The campaign provided a variety of mixology-themed online exercise classes, all related to the serve and inspiring cocktail-making flair
  • These included weighted cocktail shaking, high repetition garnishing, resistance ‘cheersing’, host congeniality drills and pinky curls!
  • It even released sporty merch through an online shop, with stock such as a Hendricks Gym branded water bottle, wrist and sweatbands

Fill your fridge

“Whilst this sampling is small scale by volume, its a smart move by progressive Boisson, to carve the association for its aspirational non-alcoholic drinks, with the brand that was this month voted Best Wine Fridge - Design, by Food & Wine magazine.” - GC View

The US non-alcoholic drinks shop Boisson, partnered with super-smart drinks fridge-maker Rocco on a giveaway campaign.

  • The two companies simply stocked every Rocco fridge purchased in January, with a free pack of non-alcoholic drinks, including Giesen Wines

No & Low displays

Thinking bigger

“It's always fun to see brands push the boundaries of traditional formats and placements. The McDonalds' ad is particularly clever, using the larger ad space to reinforce its message not just to maximise standout” - GC View

We are increasingly seeing OOH executions that are disruptive; sometimes with 3D effects, but here are some great examples of simply thinking bigger – literally beyond the frame!

  • Soap & Glory going large with its giftmas campaign, tunnel walls takeover, captured at Bond Street Underground Station
  • McDonalds extending the frame as such, to convey its meal deal value

Perfect pours

“This is a great initiative to support the on-trade. By incentivising the training and brand education with a prize pool, staff members will be much more likely to engage with the platform. This will also lead to them acting as brand ambassadors armed with additional product information and the ability to ensure every consumer receives the perfect pour.” - GC View

Birra Moretti launched a digital platform to support publicans with training their staff to pour a perfect pint

  • Research suggests that 40% of publicans have faced challenges when it comes to training staff. This platform aims to give confidence through a step-by-step guide; delivering a perfect pint every time
  • Entitled the ‘Pint Perfection Platform’, the microsite features a short educational video and a multiple-choice quiz, with participation incentives such as winning a weekend trip to London
  • The promotion information is featured on Birra Moretti glassware boxes themselves.

Gifting goes large

“What a clever and simple idea to elevate alcohol brands to be gift ready; offering a quick and convenient solution for  consumers this Christmas. The interactive walk through 3D display and floor 'runway' decal provides a fun and festive stand out in store.” - GC View

Sainsbury’s went big on gifting, rather late in the festive build-up, but nevertheless, achieving considerable theatre.

  • The retailer partnered with a selection of popular drinks brands to feature
  • Simple large-scale display at the entrances of key stores were unmissable
  • The use of core Christmas colours followed the season’s traditional theming trend
  • Green bows were offered as free gifts with purchase
  • Captured: Sainsbury’s Merton


“Sheep Dog has given its Peanut Butter and Whiskey flavour liqueur a new collar, a great way to interact with consumers and provide versatility to the drink. Those peanut butter fanatics will be loving the ideas to try drinks with interesting flavours. The bold orange on-pack definitely fetches attention, encouraging consumers to chase after the NEW!” - GC View

Sheep Dog heightened its on-shelf presence this January with an entertaining, serve suggestions neck collar applied to its Peanut Butter liqueur.

  • The neck collar shaped as a paw print, featured cocktail recipes with a QR code to find even more
  • True to the brand’s dog themed creative identity, this inspiration enhanced its personality to help engage the shopper  
  • Captured: Sainsburys, St Clare’s

All for authenticity

“This simple but very clever multi-channel promotion is a brilliant example of how to successfully execute shopper marketing by teaming up with the right brand partners” - GC View

Italian prosecco brand, Gioiosa ran a promotion across varietals, to win a weekend trip to Venice for two. It also partnered with Italian aperitivo snacks brand Crosta & Mollica.

  • Designed to enhance on-shelf standout and to reinforce the brand’s heritage and premium positioning, with the partnership featured on some SKUs
  • Other partnership activation included a Good Housekeeping reader promotion to ‘Win an Italian Christmas’ of festive treats
  • And both brands ran a joint home pairing experiences promotion on their respective Insta pages

Mystery flavours

“A 'mystery flavours' campaign is a good way to engage consumers post-holiday by sparking a bit of curiosity and interaction. This 'buzz' around the products is a good way to cut through in a typically challenging month for sales.” - GC View

More brands such as lager beer Yonder, are running mystery flavours to encourage purchase and sampling and to deliver category excitement.

  • Following in the footsteps of Fanta’s four-year activation, Yonder is asking consumers to submit their guesses online to be entered into a draw
  • There are three flavours to try, with one guess, per beer, per day, per person allowed
  • Winners claim £250 worth of beer per varietal (x3) and the winners will be announce in May ‘24

Food with thought

“A promo with a good deed behind it can only be good for consumer loyalty and brand awareness. Partnering with FareShare UK, Premier Foods’ win-win promotion is a great initiative, I just wish it had some more in-store presence!” - GC View

Leading food producer, Premier Foods has launched a ‘you win, they win’ consumer promotion in partnership with charity FareShare UK.

  • The ‘Win a dinner, Give a dinner’ initiative is rooted in the business’s purpose of ‘enriching life through food’, working with FareShare UK towards its aims to relieve food poverty and reduce food waste
  • For every prize claimed Premier Foods will donate £10 to the charity
  • The no purchase necessary promotion opened 9:00am on 02/01/24 and closes 08:59am on 31/10/24

Bottles for birds

“I like it when brands mix things by incorporating artists, like this Famous Grouse limited edition label. The design adds a fun twist to the bottle, breaking away from the usual serious traditional look. These special bottles are great for collectors, and this one goes above and beyond by teaming up with RSPB and using recycled plastic. Thumbs up all round!” - GC View

The Famous Grouse revealed a limited-edition bottle design, to celebrate its 15th year of partnership with the RSPB.

  • Designed by an Edinburgh-based artist, this bottle design celebrates the brand helping to plant 150,000 trees and improve 85,000 acres of land with the RSPB, working towards its pledge to protect its Grouse’s kin and their habitat
  • The sleeve is made of 30% post-consumer recycled plastic and during the recycling process, it will be incinerated to create energy.