Between 1992 and 1997 I created and built Care For The Rare – an award-winning, international conservation programme – for leading whisky brand, J&B RARE.
In 1992, Justerini & Brooks were looking for an international communications idea for their prestigious global whiskey brand. Something that was universal and would have relevance in any market. Something that captured the mood of the times. And something that would be unique to their whiskey, J&B RARE.
It was the time of the Rio Earth Summit and the mood was shifting from luxury, superficial associations to more meaningful concerns. I was sure that an environmental idea was the right way to go and my first thought was around the theme of water of life (the Gaelic for distilled alcohol is uisge beatha – or water of life). However, any alcohol brand could equally claim this theme so we pushed for something more unique to the brand – protecting rare species.
The idea struck a chord and was wholeheartedly adopted. A name was created. A leading conservation expert was recruited to the team. And the project was seeded into the Justerini & Brookes global network. In 1993 a breeding pair of Black Rhinos – Justerini and Brooks – were re-located to Malawi (later to calf Jet). And Care For The Rare won a prestigious international marketing award.
By 1996, Care For The Rare had been integrated into the marketing activities of nine J&B distributors, including Spain – J&B’s biggest market. And had appeared on thousands of bottles and had helped over twenty rare and endangered species projects, contributing over $500,000 – through on-pack promotions, auctions and PR events.