Win More Podcast: Bacardi and L.L. Bean Add New Execs, Shift Messaging

July 1, 2020

Our Win More podcast duo dives into two more opportunities that should be on seller’s radar this week: Bacardi and L.L. Bean. Follow our co-hosts John Zaldonis and Joe Winter as they take a look at top advertisers’ spending habits and provide predictive insights from Winmo.

Listen to the complete episode on Spotify or check out the transcription below!

Win More Podcast topic #2: Bacardi’s First Ad Campaign Specific to Coronavirus Lockdowns

Co-host John Zaldonis

Let’s get into our first story today. We’re going to talk about Bacardi, who’d been a little bit quiet up until recently. So, a couple of things to talk about here. Number one, probably most importantly, they just launched their first post-COVID campaign. And number two, we have a new marketer to talk about. So let’s start with the post-COVID campaign. It’s called Roommates. Joe, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about it.

Co-host Joe Winter

Roommates is a campaign that was developed by BBDO Worldwide, and it was designed to inspire people to keep going, to keep doing what they love, even if that stuff is at home. So, they’re pretty clearly going for a younger crowd, specifically urban millennial renters, that kind of demographic.


Yeah, that’s certainly what’s being depicted here.  And it’s wonderful timing because listeners, our Winmo Zoom happy hour, just this last week, was all about mixology and making your own cocktails at home. So, this would’ve fit in perfectly with that. I could use a mojito right now I guess is what I’m trying to say so that we’ve got that. Let’s also talk a little bit about the new addition. This would be Alex Tomlin is who we’re talking about, the new marketing SVP for North American business.


Alex has had some experience with these guys beforehand but had been doing so as a freelancer.

You may also remember that we covered a new CMO for Patron and Grey Goose back in March. Yeah, and that would be Kathy Parker.  One interesting tidbit about her appointment is that when it was announced, the plan was for Kathy to relocate to Bermuda in August for that role. And I’m certain she also hopes that that’s still the plan.


So, imagine that you get it. You get your CMO job. It’s like late February, early March, and you’re like, hot damn, I’m going to Bermuda. And then all this happened. So, yeah, I ‘m with you, Joe, hopefully still on the agenda. So, piggybacking off of that, you just mentioned Patron and Grey Goose.

Those are two of Bacardi’s biggest brands. In fact, I would say those two plus just Bacardi Rum would probably make out the top three. The team at WinmoEdge made standard research requests into how they have been spending and what they found was that these brands have been historically heavily skewed towards the television.  But this is a big but here; in 2020 the spend has been way down across pretty much all channels. So, one would certainly infer that this is COVID-influenced.


Probably, but it’s also worth noting that Q2 and Q4 are their two biggest quarters. So, the damage to their total spend is probably done.

It really depends on how the rest of the year shakes out. So, there could be room for reinvestment before 2020 is over. I would think that would depend on how quickly they can turn it. It sounds like this Roommate’s campaign could be part of that.


I would think so, because, you know, we’re getting into the summer months and, you know what’s better than a nice 80-degree day and a rooftop bar. But just that’s probably not something that’s in the cards right now for the vast majority of us. So, it could be that especially with this Roommates’ campaign, they’re kind of say, all right, so we’re still going to try to do some business here, but we’re going to pivot and try to market ourselves in such a way that perhaps instead of going out for your favorite Bacardi cocktail, you take that indoors in the comfort of your own home.

So, the team added as well in this article that although the biggest driver of Bacardi’s spend is television, they have a pretty solid emphasis on social. And this is kind of where we get back into the creative that we’re talking about in this campaign. Clearly, they’re looking for a younger crowd, Joe, that you mentioned. So, with that in mind, I would certainly think that if you are the kind of person who would consider them a good prospect for things like paid social, I would certainly have Bacardi on my radar.


For Win More podcast agency and martech listeners. We really haven’t heard any rumbles of any agency reviews lately. However, with some high-level staffing changes and changes in spending, that could still represent an opportunity. In addition to working with BBDO for their creative, Bacardi also works with OMD for their buying and planning.

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Win More Podcast topic #2: L.L. Bean’s New CMO and Coronavirus Website Changes


So, we’ll conclude today’s episode with a little chat about L.L. Bean. They have a new CMO for us to talk about. And like with a lot of these advertisers we’ve talked about are now gradually reopening stores.

Who is the new CMO? You may ask? Well, that would be Nick Wilkoff who assumed the position of CMO in May of 2020. So just last month, critically, here it is worth noting that this is a promotion from within. So, this is not them bringing in somebody from outside the organization. In fact, what you’ll see here is that Nick has had plenty of experience at L.L. Bean. He had previously served as the marketing and international V.P., but Nick joined the company all the way back in 2004. So, we’re talking about 16 years of tenure here at the company for the new CMO.


And as with so many other companies that have store locations, L.L. Bean store locations are slowly opening back up.

However, there will be some major pushes for things like curbside pickup and e-commerce. So that’s a definite a thing that many retailers are doing right now. And with some of the cases picking back up over the past week and two weeks, we’ll see what this coming week brings for companies like L.L. Bean.


And I think we mentioned this, I think if you tried to predict the future, you’d have gone broke in 2020. Having said all that, I personally would not put that much money on like massive scale shutdowns happening again, like you may see them if certain states get really bad. But I would certainly think that they’re going to kind of slowly but surely continue on this current trajectory. Again, that may vary from region to region a little bit.


I think that your point is well taken, Joe. Keep an eye out. Not that you wouldn’t already. But keep an eye on the news to see how the next two weeks ago in terms of things like transmission rates and all that. Also, to get it back to L.L. Bean, they may actually enjoy an advantage just based off who they are and what they offer.

So, again, listeners think about some of the physical activities that are safer to do than others right now. And then think about what L.L. Bean can offer consumers. And I think you’re going to find there is a pretty good natural overlap there.


And that’s a really great point as well. My parents, I recall from my younger days, really, really liked the L.L. Bean brand along with their competitor, Land’s End. And one thing I noticed about L.L. Bean is that they are sticking to what they know that they’re not, as far as I can tell, from looking through their website. They’re not offering masks. Right. I think probably because if they did, they would probably be flannel masks.

And that just that wouldn’t be a good idea.


(Laughs) I know. Probably inadvisable.


So, but what did catch my eyes as well as John’s eye was that they have a really clever promotion on their site to help people plan out their summer. And that is a staycation summer guide. It’s pretty neat. It’s got a number of summertime activities that can be experienced without traveling too far.

It also has a number of resources and guides, and they provide even direct links to the CDC and the National Parks Service. And so that’s a really handy guide, for any of you who are planning to not venture too far afield this summer. This is a really great link to bookmark.


I think that’s a perfect case study of L.L. Bean being very well aware of who their audience is. So, kudos to them.

Let’s talk a little bit about ad spend per iSpot. Let’s start with television. L.L. Bean is investing a little bit more than 150K on national TV so far in 2020 And I know that may not sound like a ton when you compare it to some other advertisers we’ve talked about.

But consider this up until this point last year, which you could pretty safely argue was a lot more sedate, they still had not placed any dollars at all on TV in 2020. So clearly, you know, although not a huge investment. It does show an increase when they do spend another thing to be aware of.

For people who are interested in their television activity, unlike, again, some other advertisers we’ve talked about here. They do not have a wide dispersal. They are going to be focused on just a few programs. In fact, what our team found, courtesy of iSpot’s data, was that over 50 percent of their placements took place on just the CBS News. So, a very, very narrow dispersal. When they do tend to invest on television.


Another thing worth noting is that L.L. Bean is another advertiser that historically has targeted Q4 in a pretty big way. So, in 2019, just as one example, twenty-four million out of the twenty-eight million that they spent, that whole year happened just between October and December.


That’s a really good point. So clearly a pretty heavy emphasis on things like, you know, the holidays. Certainly, I mean, I have been the recipient of some L. L Bean products for in my Christmas stocking in the past. And it’s well, it’s very well appreciated it, too. I might add.

So as such, it’s no surprise to learn that they have not actually invested heavily, digitally, much at all. So, our partners over at AdBeat actually have not seen any L.L. Bean activity since February 2020. Now with an emphasis on Q4, perhaps on the surface, that shouldn’t be too surprising.


But I can probably attribute that to probably equal parts covered. And just business as usual.


Unfortunately, while no part of the U.S. seems to have coronavirus completely under control. The pattern that has been emerging are local pockets that are doing better than others.


So, when you take that into consideration, pay attention to which regions are likely to have more success at opening back-up. If you are considering offering local or out-of-home placements, we’ve really seen evidence of that kind of spending in the past as well.


Just to give our Win More podcast listeners an idea of what their demo looks like, L.L. Bean, it’s going to skew a little bit older, certainly not exactly the same crowd that Bacardi was going for. For L.L. Bean. We’re talking Gen Xers, boomers, people like that. For L.L. Bean as well, I would probably expect that demo to skew towards a little bit more of an affluent crowd as well.


Hence my parents. So, for agency and martech listeners, as you know, newly appointed CMOs often conduct agency reviews. So definitely reach out soon.


The one thing I might just also advise our listeners is, remember, consider that Nick is coming out of nowhere. Nick is going to be somebody who’s had experience with L.L. Bean.

I still think that could mean that he could be somebody to conduct an agency review, especially if he’s like, right now, I’ve got the reins. We’re going to do things my way. But maybe just add a tiny little grain of salt to that because he has been there in the past.

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If you like the Win More podcast, check out:

  1. 6 Under the Radar Opportunities with Emerging Brands
  2. Prospecting Media Agencies? Here’s What You Need to Know
  3. 6 Brands Making Big Marketing Investments

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