The Glenlivet distills brand awareness in Hong Kong

July 10, 20235 minute read

An original since 1822, The Glenlivet is known for breaking the rules. In their latest brand campaign ‘#BreakTheStereotype’, they wanted an innovative way to redefine traditions and ‘traditional’ whisky drinkers, building brand awareness all across Hong Kong – and they found it in a multichannel approach on The Trade Desk.


A Scotch whisky brand steeped in history, The Glenlivet dates back to 1822 – when the brand’s founder, George Smith, had a vision to break traditions and set new standards.

In a recent marketing campaign, The Glenlivet was on a mission to break the age-old stereotypes around whisky drinkers. In Hong Kong, the brand launched #BreakTheStereotype, in which they challenged the cliches around drinking whisky and stereotypical whisky drinkers, instead highlighting and celebrating the diversity of modern whisky drinkers.

In the same spirit as its marketing campaign, The Glenlivet shifted away from traditional advertising methods and channels to grow brand awareness in Hong Kong. The brand embraced new methods like using a multichannel strategy that featured short-form video and programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads as well as leveraging data to make better media buying decisions.

In executing the ‘#BreakTheStereotype’ campaign, the brand chose to use The Trade Desk’s programmatic demand-side platform (DSP) because it provides a simple buying and activation process for DOOH media, and helps to connect the impact of these ads easily with those on other media channels.


The monthlong campaign kicked off in December 2022 with three six-second video ads, each featuring different characters that illustrated the diversity of whisky drinkers. Prior to launch, the brand used The Trade Desk’s DSP to build custom audience segments, and leveraging contextual targeting categories such as art, competitors and liquor, luxury, special occasions, fashion/makeup, sports, news, and styles. This data was then used to engage prospective customers on their mobile devices.

Using metrics such as video completion rate (VCR), the team identified the audience groups that were most interested in the brand. Additional geographical data from mobile devices was curated to create a ‘heat map’ of districts in Hong Kong – targeting these key audiences with DOOH ads while expanding the brand’s audience base for a brand lift study.

In the final phase of the campaign, the brand focused on retargeting consumers – specifically, those who were exposed to the six-second video and DOOH ads as well as those who visited the brand’s website – with 15-second and 45-second mobile video ads bought programmatically on The Trade Desk’s DSP.


The campaign was a success, generating awareness with stellar results across Hong Kong. In less than one month, it achieved more than 1.64 million total video reach and over 12.5 million total completed views. In addition, DOOH ads delivered nearly 4 million total audience impressions.

By combining short-form video and DOOH ads, The Glenlivet created a strong synergy of channels, leading to an increase of nearly 10% in VCR, compared to only using short-form video ads. This showcases that audiences exposed to more channels within a campaign are more engaged.

The Glenlivet also found that its 15-second and 45-second video ads achieved a 10% higher VCR when retargeting viewers who had been exposed to the DOOH ads, compared to retargeting its website visitors. This VCR was also 8% higher than The Trade Desk’s benchmark.

To gain greater insights into the campaign and the overall effectiveness of a multichannel approach, The Glenlivet conducted a brand lift study integrated with The Trade Desk’s platform. Surveys in the study were delivered to two groups of people: those who were exposed to The Glenlivet’s video ads and/or DOOH ads, and those who weren’t. The study revealed that the campaign drove a 14% increase in brand awareness, and an 8% to 15% increase in brand preference. In addition, it found that ad recall increased by 21% for those who saw both the video and DOOH formats.

With these real results, the whisky brand proved the effectiveness of a data-driven multichannel strategy in building brand awareness. With the help of The Trade Desk, The Glenlivet ultimately broke the stereotype not just for modern whisky drinkers, but for modern marketing campaigns too.

"The ease with which we could buy ad placements and activate them via The Trade Desk’s platform was a key factor of the campaign’s success. The platform also enabled us to leverage data in innovative ways to better inform our media buys and target the right audiences, in the right places, at the right times. We’d like to raise a glass to The Trade Desk for helping The Glenlivet celebrate the modern whisky drinker and helping improve awareness of the brand in Hong Kong."

Tony Atayde
Marketing Director, Pernod Ricard Hong Kong and Macau