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Special Project

Special Project
From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

The Macallan Edition No. 5: The Art & Science of Whisky

Audience Honor in Wine, Beer & Spirits

Entered in Integrated Campaign, Physical & Digital, Instagram, Long Form Video


This summer, The Macallan launched Edition No. 5, the fifth bottle in its annual limited edition series. This expression explores the role that exceptional oak casks play in shaping the natural color of The Macallan whiskies. To celebrate the importance of natural color, The Macallan sought out a collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute to create a unique and complex shade that was inspired by the complexity of the whisky-making process: “The Macallan Edition Purple.”


A coordinated global launch explored the complexity of color through the lens of art and science. Markets around the world unveiled the newly created shade of purple while underscoring the natural color of The Macallan through 360 degree, omni-channel, innovative programming with the key objectives being:


- Educate consumers on The Macallan’s dedication to natural color through the partnership with Pantone.

- Demonstrate The Macallan’s uncompromising commitment to quality through its use of casks to create exceptional whisky.

- Underscore the collectability of The Macallan through the Edition series.

Strategy and Execution

The consumer journey went through three phases in the arc of storytelling. Starting on social, where as a way to underscore the importance of natural color, The Macallan removed all content from its Instagram feed - what does a world without natural color look like? - to digital, where the brand created a hero moment to speak to the art and science of whisky making and the collaboration with The Pantone Color Institute with a hero video moment, to finally launching a hands-on live experience where consumers can take an experiential journey with us.


To underscore the importance of Natural Color, as one of the core pillars that differentiates the brand from other whiskies, The Macallan begin the consumer journey by disrupting their community’s social feeds by removing the color in order to teach them about its importance in the whisky-making process. First by clearing all content from the Instagram feed, then posting black & white content, followed by imagery with pops of color - as the week went by, they started to reintroduce color into the consumers' world. Then, finally, on the Global launch day, the brand then revealed Edition No. 5 in-feed within its dozen-plus global social channels.


Having then spoken to the importance of natural color in the whisky-making process, the brand needed to tell the story of this new, limited edition whisky, The Macallan Edition No. 5, as well as its journey of color exploration and the collaborative process with The Pantone Color Institute. So they created a hero video that showcased the art and science behind both whisky making and color creation, featuring The Macallan whisky maker Sarah Burgess and Laurie Pressman of The Pantone Color Institute.


This video was featured on over a dozen of The Macallan global social channels, in multiple languages, as well as on Pantone's social and digital channels, and utilized globally during live launch activations.


In New York City, The Macallan hosted a 3-day, consumer experiential event at The Oculus at the World Trade Center that took guests on a journey through whisky making and color creation, leading up to a tasting of the new Edition No. 5 and reveal of the Pantone color created in its honor: The Macallan Edition Purple.


In terms of owned content, the "tease" and education period, telling the story of the importance of natural color in The Macallan whisky-making process, the brand saw its natural color (i.e. "a world without color") content reach over 2.2 million consumers with over 107k social engagements.


The launch video speaking to the art and science of whisky making and color creation with The Pantone Color Institute has over 500k video views worldwide - this is where the brand really educated the consumer about this collaboration and how they come to make whisky that is 100% natural color.


In terms of getting liquid to lips, over 4k consumers visited The Macallan Color Experience at The Oculus in New York City and sampled the Edition No. 5, while several thousands of additional consumers worldwide attended additional launch experiences. In the US alone, over 2.9k of those consumers posted about the experience on social media, including 143 influencer posts; and from a media perspective, 41 stories to date have been written about the experience with 262 million potential impressions.


Video for The Macallan Edition No. 5: The Art & Science of Whisky

Entrant Company / Organization Name

M Booth, The Macallan