The Macallan Estate

How can we create a new gifting icon in super-premium whisky?

Services: Consumer Insight | Innovation & Concept Development | Proposition Development | Executional Strategy

Feed and inspire the adventure in all of us



With an overall ambition to recruit 1.2m consumers over five years, The Macallan is on a strong path to growth. Driving incremental growth in gifting is a key part of that strategy.

The opportunity was clear: an existing competitor held nearly 20% volume share within the super-premium gifting occasion in the US, with similar strength in global markets. For The Macallan, stealing just 10% of that share would represent 25,000 cases – and a huge opportunity to bring new consumers into the brand.

But how do you create a new gifting icon designed to surpass an iconic competitor? And how can you tell a story so simple yet compelling that givers and receivers are captivated and converted, however limited their knowledge of single malt whisky might be?



The answer, as we discovered, already existed in the heart of The Macallan. Using our deep brand knowledge and understanding the dynamics of gifting, we delivered the key insight – rather than a new adventure, this gifting icon had to be an encapsulation of the brand. The connection to heritage and home needed to be brought to life, and there was a perfect way to do this: including a spirit made from barley which grows only on The Macallan estate, usually reserved for the most precious and exclusive variants.

Only this solution was capable of tackling a competitor variant at the pinnacle of its portfolio. In The Macallan Estate we distilled the essence of The Macallan into a single expression, presented in a jaw-dropping and tactile pack.

3 new products launched designed to fuel every adventure



The Macallan Estate is the culmination of 12 months of innovation and proposition development work completed with Edrington in multiple phases.

After strengthening the strategic brief via an audit of existing information, we identified a small number of equities that could help us tell a unique and powerful proposition story. These ingredients were combined in a creative brief for a pioneering innovation session with The Macallan team and the Roca brothers at El Celler de Can Roca (The “Best Restaurant in the World” in 2013 and 2015), focusing on the 360-degree experience of the proposition.

Our initial round of concept development and subsequent consumer testing across the US, UK, Russia and China highlighted the most powerful territory for exploration: a focus on proprietary barley and heritage. We also identified chinks in the armor of the existing iconic choice – uncovering an opportunity for The Macallan to build a deeper, more emotional connection with giver and receiver.



Following a second round of concept refinement we conducted further exploration with consumers, building on our understanding of their experiences and needs within super-premium gifting, and the essential components of an iconic challenger to their existing first choice at the same price point.

Clear created the final proposition for The Macallan Estate, outlining the selling story and clear hierarchy of the elements within it. We provided detailed executional guidance and worked with the pack design team to retain elements essential for maximum impact. We also worked closely with individual markets, helping them to understand specific local nuances and gaining support for the proposition globally.

In May 2019, Edrington unveiled The Macallan Estate, a celebration of provenance and heritage.