The Art of Marketing: Woodford Reserve

One of my very favorite times of the year is upon us! Next weekend, 10 thoroughbreds will run for the roses in the Kentucky Derby, kicking off Triple Crown season. Frivolous fashion, breathtaking physical speed and beauty, high stakes betting and, of course, bourbon cocktails . . . what’s not to love?

The Derby gets the most attention of the three races in the set, but still doesn’t draw anywhere near the widespread viewing audience of other major sporting events, averaging around 16 million viewers versus 100+ million for, say, the Super Bowl. As a result, you don’t typically see anywhere near the same level of marketing efforts as for events with wider appeal (not to mention there’s no time in the approximately two-minute race for commercial breaks!). But of course, there are brands who are there consistently, taking advantage of the smaller field and some creative opportunities to stand out. Woodford Reserve is one of them.

Since 2003, Woodford has put out a commemorative Kentucky Derby bottle featuring original label art. The recurring initiative is an absolutely perfect fit for this Louisville-based Brown-Forman brand, who is this year’s Official Presenting Sponsor and Official Bourbon of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. These collectors’ items are a fun way to create brand buzz and loyalty by driving anticipation each year and building excitement for the race among fans of both horses and cocktails. And y’all are obviously gonna need some bourbon for those Mint Juleps!  This year’s effort keeps it all in the family by featuring a painting by Louisville artist, Keith Anderson, who also just happens to be a bartender at the Brown-Forman headquarters. This limited production will be on shelves until about mid-May, then . . . they’re off!

If you’ve ever wished for a hot-to-trot branding strategy such as the one Woodford Reserve offers the world of horse-racing every year, you’ve come to the right place. Yalo’s brand strategists and creative design team can help your business go the distance with imagination, style and deliverables that will give your brand a head start out of the gate. Let’s have a chat and run the race together.

Looking for more articles like this?

No need to keep refreshing this page. We’ll send article links directly to your inbox when you sign up for our bi-weekly emails.