Coke Readies Nationwide Seagram’s Push

Will Seagram's Land(o) New Customers for Coke?

Having finally acquired full distribution rights to Seagram’s, Coca-Cola is now using its powerful distribution system to push the ginger ales and mixers nationwide.

“We’ve had rights to their brand since 2002, but not full distribution rights,” says Susan Stribling, a spokesman for Coca-Cola Refreshments. Up to now, the brand has had a more limited availability because of licensing issues. The ability to fully distribute Seagram’s through their associated bottling companies was not possible for Coca-Cola due to licensing and contract conflicts with other bottlers, but now they are free to advertise and distribute throughout the country.

Both Seagram’s Ginger Ale and ginger ale in general are popular on the East Coast, but according to Stribling there is plenty of room to expand in both the west and Midwest markets, and the company plans to expand the brand into those areas.

With Seagram’s Ginger Ale in full swing, Coca-Cola is attempting to break further into the ginger ale market. Seagram’s mixer products like club soda and tonic water would expand Coca-Cola further into the bar scene as well, but Stribling says the advertising tone for the products would be relatively the same. Up until now, marketing simply has not been possible on any nationwide scale.

The Atlanta-based firm Ames Scullin O’Haire has designed the new campaign to promote Seagram’s Ginger Ale with slogans like, “it’s good to be you,” and “not all bubbly comes with corks.”

“The brand is targeted towards adults,” says Ed Klein, a partner at the firm. “It’s a preferred soft drink for people of that age.”

While much of the advertising aimed at adults plays up middle age and the loss of youth, Klein says the new campaign will be focused on the positive aspects of adulthood.

“We’re targeting their positive sense of self,” he says. “They’re happy with their lives and where they are”

Both Klein and Stribling emphasized that they were trying to a sense of “comfortable sophistication” with Seagram’s.

“It’s a great beverage for when adults want to take a moment and relax,” says Stribling.