The Venture by Chivas: bringing brand purpose to life

I was intrigued by a Chivas Regal poster I read whilst waiting for a tube train recently. It was advertising some sort of new promotion with the headline "Win the Right Way". By the time my train arrived I had not figured out how I could "win the right way" When I got home I went online for some more info, and discovered the poster was promoting a $1million fund for social entrepreneurs called The Venture

There are a few interesting points about this activity. Some good. Some less good.

Good: Bringing to life the brand purpose

The Venture nicely brings to life the brand idea of "Live With Chivalry". I've been impressed with the consistency of the "Live with Chivalry" global campaign, which has been running since 2008. This brand idea has a call to action,  emotional appeal and is cleverly branded, via the link back to the brand name. 

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With The Venture, the brand is now going beyond just communication to action, as Global Brand Director Richard Black comments:

"The Live with Chivalry campaign was launched in 2008, and has since inspired modern gentlemen in more than 60 countries around the world to succeed in the right way. We now see a real opportunity to ‘walk the talk’."  

Missing a trick: multiple messagesWhere I think the brand might have missed a trick is in the messaging behind The Venture. Looking back at the poster, you can see there are three different messages:

– Live with Chivalry: brand idea

– Win the Right Way: poster headline and Twitter hashtag

– The Venture: the activation idea

The problem with this rather fragmented messaging is a reduced chance of creating memory structure for the Venture and linking it to the brand. Ideally, the activation idea would have been more closely linked to the brand idea. For example, the activation could be "The Chivas Venture Fund", for example, with a call to action of "Join The Venture and Win the Right Way".

Unclear call to action

The other concern I have with the communication of The Venture is the lack of a clear call to action. Having spent time on the website, at the moment it looks like Chivas are just looking for social entrepreneurs to sign up for chance to win some of the $1million. But this was not at all clear in the poster. The brand have invested in a nice film with '12 Years a Slave' star Chiwetel Ejiofor. And you have to dig quite hard to find out that there are up to 10 winners per each of 10 countries.

In conclusion, The Venture brings to life the brand idea as an activation. But the mixed and unclear messaging risks undermining the success of the activity. I'm trying to get more involved in supporting social entrepreneurs, so hope it does work. I've signed up to The Venture email to see what happens.