Caroline Marshall talks to the man who is confident of an ‘old’ brand’s
To many marketers, the idea of relaunching a brand that young people
associate with boring dinner parties full of middle-aged couples would
have all the appeal of professional suicide - hard work with scant
guarantee of success. But Cointreau’s global marketing director, Olivier
Charriaud, tackles the task with such enthusiasm that you start to
believe he could nurture the most inaccessible of brands out of a rut.
‘Cointreau is a sleeping giant,’ he enthuses, in the perfect English of
a business school graduate. ‘It’s intriguingly sensual and strong.’
Charriaud, 33, has appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty to launch an pounds 8
million international ad blitz for the brand. The appointment follows a
pitch between Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury and
two French agencies - DDB Paris and the incumbent, FCB Paris.
So why BBH? Charriaud hesitates, offers an honourable mention for Howell
Henry, then says that BBH’s ability to ‘reveal the brand further’ swung
The new ads, which will break in 1997, will not resurrect the ghosts of
the dinner-table lovers, Catherine and Christian, who were pensioned off
in 1990 when the account left DDB Needham for FCB. FCB’s work - which
sought to give the brand a less formal image with the line ‘the second
thing you noticed was that she was drinking Cointreau’ - never managed
to translate into an international campaign.
Charriaud graduated from French business school and has stints with
Pernod in the UK and Sydney on his CV. After five years with United
Distillers in Paris, he joined Remy Cointreau in 1994.
His two years there helped him to define the essence and potential of
the brand which, while starved of adspend, has been nurtured by
promotions, including an on-pack CD-Rom featuring a virtual cocktail
machine. Taking his cue from this, Charriaud’s preferred tipple is a
Brazilian number called Ca•pirinha, featuring Cointreau, lime juice and
crushed ice - not the sort of drink for middle-aged dinner parties at