By Bunmi Ade | On the 3rd of July 2016, Swiss driver Sebastian Buemi was crowned champion of the second season of all-electric FIA Formula E championship and he celebrated on the podium with his team and the official champagne of the series, Mumm. Bunmi Ade of GridPasses caught up with Louis de Fautereau, Mumm’s Global Brand Director for a review of their partnership with the motorsport series so far, and the business side of premium champagne affairs.
Mumm chose to partner with Formula E, a brand new all-electric racing series after a 15-year partnership with Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport. How does Mumm measure success of the Formula E partnership and the Return on Investment (ROI), given the gamble on a new and disruptive series like Formula E?
We are very proud of the past and having been the official champagne of Formula 1 for 15 years. That helped us create a lot of visibility and brand awareness globally so in that respect, it was a great success. Then we had the ambition to explore new opportunities. Formula E came up and we thought that it was a ground-breaking innovation. One of Formula E’s slogan is “Drive the Future”, this aligns with Mumm Champagne and the series shares values which are important to us. We believe it’s part of our DNA to try and invent the future. And we’ve been inventing new techniques and are always pushing the boundaries so we feel it is very exciting to be associated with Formula E even though it is a very new championship and a bit of a gamble. Also, we’re sure that our own motto “Dare, Win, Celebrate” embodies the ethos of Formula E.
On the ROI from partnering with Formula E, it’s very hard to isolate each brand activation activity and to calculate exactly which contribute to the growth of the brand, but we continue to enjoy healthy sales globally from all our operations. Our focus is to align the brand with the group’s strategy. In that respect, we believe Formula E as well as Formula 1 has brought the brand to where we want it to be. Although it’s a fairly new series, Formula E (which is shown predominantly on free-to-air TV in most countries) has brought us cumulative viewing figures of 10 billion worldwide, which obviously gives massive exposure to the brand.
The first priority is to grow the Formula E series.
How often do you introduce new concepts and how has social media changed the marketing mix?
The marketing has obviously evolved but we keep it relevant to our target audience while adhering to our strategy and vision. More and more of our target audience are digital natives who want new types of content: they are curious, they want to be surprised and they want things to be fun as well. Our job is to fit a long-term strategy which includes “premiumisation” and innovation, stay true to the DNA of the house of Mumm and ensure that our motto is never forgotten. So we have a variety of ways to express this motto, whether it’s with new products such as Mumm Grand Cordon or our Connected Bottle which was a great example of our capacity to innovate in the market and bring something new to consumers.
Also, we introduce fresh brand experiences, including unique celebration parties and guest experiences, partnering with innovative people who “play around” with our brand on various platforms. One such partnership is with David Guetta (who has 20.3 million Twitter and 5.6 million Instagram followers): it’s a long-lasting relationship and we have produced two great videos with him. Both videos make the brand more visible to a wider range of young and fun audiences, they create a lot of awareness and show Mumm as an icon of victory and celebration.
More recently we teamed up with actor and adventurer Kellan Lutz to create a viral video about the launch of Mumm Grand Cordon in the US (the “Daring Delivery” campaign), so social media is important to us; we simply love to create content that is exciting to our consumer base and that people will share and promote to each other.
The Formula E series is exploring new host cities in new countries. What impact does this have on your target markets?
We of course have core markets in terms of creating a strong presence in the champagne category i.e. France, Italy, UK, Spain, Australia, China, Japan and USA. Being involved in Formula E helps us maintain market share and presence in these core countries (the series has raced in UK, France, China and USA), but we are absolutely keen to explore new ones and are excited for season 3 starting in October in Hong Kong.
Apart from your existing partnership with Formula E, are there any other brand activation programmes you are hoping to explore?
The first priority is to grow the Formula E series. The second main platform is horse racing. Mumm is the official champagne of Kentucky Derby in the USA and Melbourne Cup in Australia and we have other sponsorships related to horse racing and sailing in other countries.