The Macallan

The last word in luxury

The brief

In late 2011, The Macallan commissioned one of the world's best known photographers, Annie Leibovitz, to shoot a creative campaign featuring Scottish actor Kevin McKidd. This creative campaign is framed around 'The Macallan: The Last Word' and reflects 'a day in the life' of the actor Kevin McKidd (Grey's Anatomy), enjoying Macallan at different times in a variety of moods and locations. Four portraits were created, in total and would adorn four specially selected expressions of the Macallan.

After a successful pitch, we broke ground with The Macallan on this exciting project. Our job was to create the campaign that would bring the project to life. We wanted to find a way to deliver this brief through a beautiful, clever and social-media-orientated website to encourage uploading, voting and most importantly, the sharing of photographic portraits.

By the end of this project, we were aiming to have increased awareness and reach of The Macallan amongst premium spirit and single malt drinkers through the use of the Masters of Photography platform. By using the platform, we wanted to engage with existing and new Macallan fans via an exciting and involving digital medium, strengthening their relationship with the Macallan in order to build up a rapport with the consumer, ensuring long-term brand loyalty and growth.


 The solution

The solution for this project was to create a site that would support the nature of the campaign; allowing users to submit, view and vote on various portraits. What we ended up with, was a socially integrated website that made it very easy to vote for and share images; the voting system was cleverly accompanied by a webpage that featured an isotopic design, meaning that the pictures on the site with the most votes would increase or reduce in size, according to the number of votes they had received.

The concept for this project was based around the idea of portraits accompanied by one meaningful word; 'The Last Word'. To support the campaign, we came up with a solution that added value to the project - an idea and an ambition to add one million stories in the form of portraits and their accompanying titles to the site. The isotopic design further boosted the rich aesthetic we were trying to create - designed in such a way that reflected both Annie Leibovitz and Macallan's own premium brand quality. We designed a site that had a very strong feel and upped the level of user engagement - bringing the users right into their own stories.

We made a decision to allow users access to the site through Twitter and Facebook, meaning  that they weren't required to spend time filling in user details - they were straight in and more importantly, social sharing was actively encouraged by choosing this sign in method. We were very happy with our decision here, because as we expected - we were able to achieve maximum reach through the social media sites.


The result

The site launched in June 2012 and has been a huge success. So far, the site has experienced a higher level of sharing than last year's campaign with the number of registering users and participants exceeding those of recent years; this is a great result both for us and for Macallan!

Most importantly, the intelligent structure and design of the site has dramatically reduced user queries; in fact, it has eliminated them.

We're very proud of this project and we look forward to working with Macallan again in the future.


We're the boys and girls for the job:
  • Customer-focused web design process
  • Obsessive attention to usability and compliance standards
  • Joined-up approach to specify and co-ordinate all channels
  • All work is tracked and accountable against targets

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