When former JP Morgan investment banker Anshuman Vohra launched his gin brand in 2007 in the United States, the American scene was still transforming and very much in tune with the cosmos that the four female characters from “Sex & The City” usually drank.

Inspired by his father’s penchant for a gin and tonic cocktail, the Indian-born entrepreneur presented a dry London gin with a complex yet smooth taste, with notes of juniper tempered by accents of citrus and spices for a total of 12 plants from all over the world.

Its original ambition was to revitalize the category and stand out from the crowd of competitors with a lifestyle proposition.

Certainly, just like in fashion, spirits trends come and go, and by the end of the Aughts, gin has seen a resurgence over vodka, once considered the cool spirit for connoisseurs. Gin’s complexity seemed to better cater to the growing audience of drinkers looking for a full sensory experience.

By the mid-2010s, Bulldog had made its way to Europe, particularly Spain and the UK, and began distribution in around 55 countries soon after. But it wasn’t until 2017 that the brand would begin to gain the fashion status it has today.

That year, the Italian Campari group, owner of iconic spirits such as the namesake Campari and Aperol, both used for the spritz cocktail intended for the aperitif, acquired Bulldog from its owner with the ambition to develop it further. worldwide.

The acquisition marked the first foray into the premium gin segment for the group, which had grown into a multi-billion dollar business since its founding in 1860. The Campari Group has a portfolio of spirits that includes other brands gin companies such as Bickens in the upper mainstream and O’ndina in the super premium niche segments. He also owns Espolon tequila and Skyy vodka.

To develop the gin inspired by the hectic and glamorous urban life of New York, referenced in Buldog’s sleek all-black chunky bottle, Campari developed g-local strategies, focusing on trendsetters and social pros.

Guests at an event powered by Bulldog.
Guests at an event powered by Bulldog. Davide Dusnasco / Courtesy of Campari Group

“Bulldog’s vision is simple and clear, becoming the symbol of a bold expression for cool nightlife,” says Clarice Pinto, senior marketing director for the Italian market at Bulldog.

“In the context of the gin boom [sales] in Italy, where most players focus their communication on product references and botanicals, we decided to position Bulldog as a lifestyle gin brand, starting to establish a link with emerging fashion [brands and initiatives] as a neighboring territory,” she explains.

It’s no surprise, then, that as part of a strong marketing push, Bulldog gin has become a staple at fashion nights, especially on the Milan scene.

“In 2021, we began to sow in this territory, overseeing cultural moments in fashion…creating valuable collaborations with [or established]brands that generate hype and social buzz,” says Pinto.

In 2022 alone, Bulldog was the main partner and party sponsor for the 10th anniversary of the County of Milan brand of Marcelo Burlon, as well as JW Anderson, Sunnei and Dsquared2, among others.

He’s also dipped his toes into charity fashion events, such as the Convivio AIDS and HIV fundraiser and the Black Carpet Awards held last February to champion underrepresented Black, Indigenous and color talent.

“There is a different strategy for each of the countries where the spirits is distributed and Italy, which is growing at a rapid pace, was the natural choice for a fashion-driven approach,” says Pinto.

An event powered by Bulldog in Milan.
An event powered by Bulldog in Milan. Courtesy of Campari Group

G-local activations are anchored in the global branding campaign, which is called ‘Begin Bold’ and aims to empower young people to chart their own path, breaking free from convention.

“We aim to target spirits enthusiasts who we define as ‘social success stories’, those who are knowledgeable and up-to-date on new trends…who have a strong interest in premium and iconic brands… who want to live life to the fullest, naturally curious and confident,” says Pinto.

“We try to cater to their interests, believing that it would also cater to their subscribers,” she explains.

In 2021, Bulldog launched its Bold Nights events, which bring together crowds of talent, influencers and nightlife enthusiasts in immersive spaces. The most recent iteration took place on Friday at East End Studios in Milan. It will be followed by similar activations in Rome and Naples.

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