Hot Rum Cow
In 2012 we launched our own magazine. It was the perfect way to demonstrate that we have the courage of our convictions. It was also a great way to showcase techniques for creating a beautifully effective print product supported by a smart digital strategy.
After much research, we decided to create an international magazine about booze. There were lots of great food magazines out there, but few about drinks – and those that existed were stuffy and dull. We saw a gap in the market for an intelligently written, beautifully designed magazine for people curious about interesting beers, wines and spirits. We subtitled it: ‘Adventures in the world of drinking’.
At the time, several people suggested we were mad to be launching a magazine but we believed in the medium. We also felt that too many brands were throwing all their budgets into video and digital whilst overlooking the enduring power of print as part of the mix. These same people also seemed unaware of the craft magazine movement championed by the likes of magculture.com and the renewed appeal of a modern magazine model to forward-thinking brands.
Three years on, the multi-award-winning Hot Rum Cow has transformed our business. We knew we were on to something when the Museum of Modern Art in New York asked to stock the magazine – and it is now on sale in many of the world’s most prestigious design and magazine stores. The US edition of Esquire even included Hot Rum Cow in its list of ‘80 things that define our world today’.
We generate plenty of revenue from advertising in the magazine but, more importantly for us, it has directly led to work with clients keen to tap into the Hot Rum Cow ethos and apply it to their own customer relationships.
In 2015, we extended the brand further by buying worldwhiskyday.com, a global celebration of whisky with a vast international audience of young, fun-loving whisky drinkers – exactly the audience that many whisky brands want to talk to. We’re also now working on the launch of a UK-wide Hot Rum Cow beer.