from Manchester Evening News 2 August 2002
The Tommies' tipple is back in vogue
A MARKETING offensive has reinforced the spirit of a
liqueur first savoured by Lancashire soldiers during the
First World War.
Benedictine, favourite tipple of the East Lancashire Regiment, has enjoyed a 50 per cent sales boost in the region following a campaign by Manchesterís MC2 marketing agency. Since appointment last September, MC2 has undertaken a number of activities including the sponsorship of the
annual Burnley Bonfire, sampling at golf clubs throughout Lancashire, supporting the Accrington Fun Day with the Benedictine Balloon Race and attending the Northern Food, Drink & Wine Show in Manchester.
The marketing communications
agency even placed a "First World
War Soldier" on the X43 bus running
from Manchester City Centre through to the Benedictine heartland
of Burnley, Colne and Nelson, to sample a traditional "Bene 'n' hot" ó Benedictine mixed with hot water.
When the Benedictine brand owner visited the region from Fecamp in
France in April, the MC2 team secured him a live interview on Radio
Lancashire as well as a prime slot for Benedictine on BBC North West,
which appeared on the lunchtime,teatime and night-time news.
And just 10 months into MC2ís "grass roots" PR campaign, drinks industry figures reveal a marked rise in consumption.
Mike Perls, managing director of MC2, said: "Because of its historic
connection with the region, more Benedictine is drunk in East Lancashire than anywhere else in the country outside London.
"In fact, the Burnley Minersí Clubsells more Benedictine than any other outlet in the world. This is such a fantastic achievement for us as it has been done without any other marketing activity."
Jonathan Kirkham, brand manager at Benedictine, said: "MC2 has executed a fantastic PR campaign, adding incremental value and volume to
the Benedictine brand.
"I have never encountered such a 'hands-on', enthusiastic agency who
understands what we are trying to achieve and consistently strives to
go the extra mile.
"Such is the commitment, drive and creativity of MC2, we were left
with no choice but to involve them in the future strategy plans for our
brand. A real 'team' who do it all because they enjoy it."
Benedictine liqueur has strong connections with the region dating
back to World War I. The East Lancashire 11th Bn was based in Fecamp
in Normandy, where Benedictine is produced, during the winter of
1918-19. It was here that the British soldiers first developed a taste for
Benedictine, drinking the liqueur mixed with hot water.
This favourite drink, which was rumoured to have healing effects for
various illnesses, soon became known affectionately as a "Bene 'n' Hot".
The soldiers discovered that a "Bene 'n' Hot" was just as effective
at warding off the chill of the Lancashire winters back home and they
demanded that Benedictine be provided for their local taverns.