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The Macallan

13 March 2020
Generating brand awareness with help from Facebook video ads.
The iconic scotch whisky Macallan decided to develop a made-for-mobile video campaign through Facebook’s MobileWorks program, successfully raising awareness with new American audiences and lifted ad recall by 13 points.
Macallan notorious for its widely admired single malt was founded in 1824, it has a reputation built on its outstanding quality whiskey and distinctive taste. In 2018, the brand unveiled its new £140 million distillery and visitor experience on its Scottish Speyside estate. The goal of this brand was simple. Generate brand awareness with new audiences. As part of “Make The Call”, its first-ever global communications campaign, The Macallan wanted to increase brand awareness and establish itself as a desirable choice for discerning young whisky drinkers in the US.

Measuring a phased approach with Brand Lift

Macallan worked with digital agency Zenith Worldwide to develop a two-phase Facebook and Instagram campaign that built on the “Make The Call” campaign film to drive up brand awareness in target markets. The campaign used Facebook Brand Lift to measure the impact of different ad buying strategies and creative approaches to help identify the best strategies for the future.
Phase one, which ran for a total of six weeks in late 2018, The Macallan and Zenith Worldwide tested a hypothesis that using a combination of the brand awareness and video view objectives would be the most effective way of driving incremental brand lift on a large scale, compared to optimising for video views alone. They used a multi-cell brand lift study to compare these approaches side-by-side in campaigns based on video ads and Instant Experiences with video creative adapted from the “Make The Call” film by The Macallan’s in-house team.
The team used interest and demographic targeting for the ads, as well as Custom Audiences based on page and video views and lookalike audiences, to reach its intended growth audience of younger, affluent, brand-savvy whisky drinkers in the US. Reach and frequency buying ensured reliable reach at a predictable cost.
Phase two, which ran for five weeks in early 2019, The Macallan ran a second multi-cell brand lift study, this time comparing near-identical campaigns in terms of optimisation, targeting and buying, but this time using made-for-mobile creative for the video ads and Instant Experience. This meant that The Macallan and Zenith Worldwide could then accurately assess any lift in brand awareness from made-for-mobile video assets.

Applying mobile-first strategies to video

For the second phase of the campaign, The Macallan worked with Facebook Marketing Partner Vidsy through the Facebook MobileWorks programme to develop video ad creative that was specially adapted for the mobile environment, so that it could compare results to the in-house creative used in phase one.
Taking the original “Make The Call” hero video, Vidsy produced several made-for-mobile edits of the video, using proven best practices and formats like vertical video to maximise impact in Stories, Instagram feed and Facebook mobile News Feed.

Gaining recognition

The Macallan’s two-phase campaign ran from November–December 2018 and from February–March 2019. The ad assets created through Facebook’s MobileWorks programme helped it reach a huge audience and boost ad recall, resulting in:

  • More than 19 million people reached in USA

  • 13-point lift in ad recall with MobileWorks creative

  • 56% increase in ad recall with MobileWorks creative