“Making a brand asset shine: Veuve Clicquot
A press ad from Veuve Clicquot brightened up my Saturday morning this week (below). The execution is part of the brand’s Hello Sunshine campaign, which launched back in 2022. As a footnote in the ad explains, the campaign is “inspired by our Solaire yellow label.” This got me thinking about what an amazing job the Veuve Clicquot brand has done in consistently bringing to life and amplifying their brand assets, in particular the yellow colour.
1. Drive distinctiveness
The vibrant yellow colour is used to drive distinctiveness in the campaign. In the brand film, “We explore the sun through the eyes of a young man, who gazes at round yellow objects in his proximity — a woman’s earrings, a bouquet of flowers and a balloon as metaphors for the rising sun and the possibilities a new day can inspire,” explains Marketing Dive (1). Key images from the film are then used in press ads like the one I enjoyed reading (below).
This approach does more than just stand out from the crowd of champagne brands vying for attention in the media. It also creates memory structure linked to the yellow colour that can then help the brand get chosen at the point of sale. Imagine being in a rush to buy a bottle of bubbles for a party. You glance at the shelf of a shop full of champagne brands. And “bang!”. That sunny yellow labelled bottle jumps off the shelf and into your basket!
2. Trigger positive emotions
The Veuve Clicquot brand is a good example of how distinctive brand assets can do more than just drive recognition. Here, the yellow colour is used to trigger positive emotions linked to the idea of sunshine. “For two-and-a-half centuries, Veuve Clicquot has represented a profound state of optimism and solaire culture, starting with Madame Clicquot’s belief that each new day opens a path to brighter futures,” CMO Carole Bildé told Marketing Dive (1). “The yellow objects are discovered and symbolic of the new day and all its possibilities.”
3. Encourage more regular usage
The Hello Sunshine campaign also positions the Veuve Clicquot brand as a champagne that is not just for the typical, formal and special celebratory occasions associated with the category. By portraying more casual, daytime occasions the brand is subtly cueing the idea of drinking the brand for more everyday moments. “The little moments deserve to be celebrated as well,” explained Carol Bildé (1). “‘Good Day Sunshine’ expresses just that — [how] one can find that bit of joy, optimism and solaire in everyday moments.”
4. Amplify across the mix
What I really love about Veuve Clicquot is how they have amplified their brand idea and distinctive assets across the whole mix. Surely the brand has to win the prize for the most creative use of secondary packaging?! There is the neoprene Ice Jacket that keeps your Veuve cool for a picnic or just when you take it round to a friend’s house. There is a genius use of card packaging that unfolds into an Ice Box. And just feast your eyes on that mini SMEG fridge below! This gorgeous gift box can keep a bottle chilled for up to two hours. It can also be reused as a design object after the inner vac form is removed. In a smart sustainability move, the boxes are made of 100% recyclable tin and the internal material is made of sugarcane waste.
5. Fresh consistency
The Veuve Clicquot brand is an outstanding example of harnessing fresh consistency to create distinctive memory structure. I first posted on the brand here back in 2008. I highlighted the superb secondary packaging that cleverly combined the brand’s yellow colour with fantastic functionality. Fast forward 15 years and the brand continues to make its signature yellow colour shine brightly. And the re-useable neoprene Ice Jacket is still going strong.
As mentioned earlier, the brand has also added freshness to keep the brand contemporary. The Hello Sunshine campaign brings to life the brand’s attitude and life philosophy, as mentioned above. And the Smeg fridge is a new take on beautiful and functional secondary packaging.
6. Refresh what made you famous
Back in my 2008 post, I wrote about how CEO Cecile Bonnefond pulled off the balancing act of keeping the Veuve Clicquot brand fresh while respecting the brand’s heritage. This approach is evident in the way Veuve Clicquot has celebrated its 250th anniversary. “We didn’t want to do something [that felt like] a museum, we wanted to give it a contemporary touch and not something stuck in the past, but something vibrant,” Carole Bildé told The Drum (2). “We wanted to spread this idea of optimism and sunshine and light to the world.”
The Solaire Culture exhibition opened in Tokyo in 2022 before travelling to Los Angeles then London (see below).“The heritage project celebrates the legacy of Madame Clicquot who took over the business in 1805,” reports the Drum (2). “An all-female team curated the exhibition and female-only artists were commissioned as a nod to Madame Clicquot.” These contemporary artists were tasked with creating modern interpretations of Madame Clicquot and her inventions.
In conclusion, Veuve Clicquot is a brilliant example of how to amplify and bring to life distinctive brand assets to drive recognition, emotional connection and keep the brand fresh.