The Deconstructed Brief



Brand: Ruavieja
Agency: Leo Burnett Madrid


Liqueur sales have been in decline for the past six years, according to Market Watch Magazine. Despite the release of new, innovative flavors and products, the market continues to struggle.

“The flavor landscape is becoming increasingly competitive, driven by brand proliferation and the introduction of new premium labels focused on single flavors,” says Tim Carter, senior brand director of brand marketing for mixables at Beam Suntory.

Additional innovations and product advertising have proved ineffective in reversing the decline. Brands like Ruavieja have needed to find an opportunity outside of these traditional approaches to appeal to liqueur drinkers and increase sales.

Ruavieja attempted to do so by building on the strength of its belief in the importance of human connection; however, consumers today spend less and less time with one another. According to a University of California, Los Angeles, study younger liquor drinkers see higher levels of loneliness than older consumers, as they spend greater amounts of time in isolation. More and more time is spent with technology, and for these individuals, technology often serves as a substitute for human interaction.

Ruavieja needed to find a way to alter human behavior and disrupt our addiction to technology.

Key insight

We say our family and friends are the most important part of our lives; however, time spent with technology says otherwise.


We would spend more time together if we knew how much time together we had left.

The idea:

The four-minute film, “We Have to See More of Each Other,” follows several pairs of people — longtime friends, parent and child, life partners — as they reconnect and reflect on how often they see each other — and then learn how much time that actually amounts to for the rest of their lives. Leo Burnett compares this to the average amount of time spent participating in inconsequential activities, such as playing on their phone and watching television. Their reactions are emotional as they realize the numbers are nowhere near what they expected.

The film launched following the production of the website, which uses an algorithm to calculate users’ personal numbers. The data for the site comes from multiple sources, such as the Spanish National Institute of Statistics and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The site originally launched in Spanish; however, an English version launched in December in response to its popularity.

The advertisement plays on the theme of the previous year’s work, a popular campaign that featured a young businessman reminiscing about his friendship with his childhood best friend. This year’s video earned 10 million views within the first week and now has over 12 million, overtaking John Lewis’ popular advertisement featuring Elton John. Its success led Leo Burnett to drop the rest of its paid digital media budget and divert it to sponsoring trips for viewers within Spain as part of a partnership with ALSA. The brand promoted these trips in national newspapers El Pais and El Mundo, and tickets are currently sold out. #TenemosQueVernosMas became a trending hashtag on Twitter after the video’s release.

What they said:

“The best ideas are those capable of changing behaviors and sometimes even the way we live,” said Leo Burnett general creative director Juan García-Escudero. “If we can get people to do all they possibly can to see more of each other, we will have done something worthwhile.”

Lessons to be learned:

  • Connect with occasions. — Ruavieja aimed to associate the brand with a specific occasion, with the goal of the campaign being to encourage people to see each other more — and not just for brief holiday visits. Research drove the emphasis on an idea, rather than the product designed to facilitate (or participate) in that occasion. Research from Les Binet and Peter Field on behalf of the company confirmed that emotional campaigns have a better opportunity (39%) than information-led campaigns (24%) to drive profits.

    Ruavieja maintains an extensive portfolio of leading liquor brands, such as Absolut Vodka and Jameson. Its recent campaign efforts emphasize the brand’s desire to shift to a connection with occasions — the last campaigns for its brands Malibu and The Glenlivet reconnected the products with key drinking occasions.

  • Personalize when possible. — Ruavieja’s accompanying interactive website allows viewers to apply the calculations shown in the film to their own relationships. The website uses a 10-step process to calculate this information, with variables such as life expectancy according to gender and place of birth, and the type of relationship in question. After completing the process, participants can share the results with a friend or family member via social media.

    Personalization stands as a top expectation for consumers, and a source of significant opportunity for brands. According to market research firm Segment, almost half (44%) of consumers return to a store or brand that offers them a personalized shopping experience. The promise of personalised data entices users to visit the site and internalise the campaign’s message — and, therefore, the brand’s association with the act of togetherness.

  • Extend your idea. — Ruavieja expanded on the success of its previous holiday campaign (2017) to develop its current work. This campaign broadened over time based on consumer reception: Following the success of the website, Leo Burnett produced the Spanish campaign and an English version of the site. The success of these elements led to the partnership with ALSA — and to further publicity and recognition.

    These ideas build on and further the brand’s central positioning of the importance of human bonds and their need for careful preservation. Individuals consume more audiovisual content than ever before, and mobile device usage has tripled in the past six years. The comparison between the irreplaceable and the inconsequential — and the unsettling juxtaposition — aims to shake viewers from the inertia of their daily lives and the encroachment of technology.