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How Might We...

Raise brand awareness for a brand that's famous for being a well-kept secret?


If you've spent time behind a bar in the States, you probably know and love Fernet-Branca - or "the Bartender's Secret Handshake." However, brand awareness was continually declining outside of bartenders, and our client wanted to reverse this trend. The more significant challenge was that Fernet-Branca's unique taste profile provokes a polarizing reaction from first-time drinkers. People generally either love it or hate it.


Early in our research, we were struck by the bartenders introducing the brand to first-time drinkers through conversations about their culinary adventures. These conversations tended to produce a first taste of Fernet-Branca that people genuinely loved.

This insight inspired us to think beyond traditional mass advertising to drive awareness and create Per La Mente - Fernet-Branca's 'online magazine for the mind'. The magazine aimed to connect the brand to a new audience through content and conversations with cocktail enthusiasts who were self-proclaimed 'foodies' seeking interesting experiences.

Per La Mente, designed to appeal to this difficult-to-reach audience, featured highly original content curated from our network of over 200 creative collaborators who reported on the secret creative happenings in the world of dining and libations and generated massive interest from cultural influencers, brand partnerships, and earned media throughout the US.

For example, Do the Bay in San Francisco introduced it to their readers: "Per La Mente is endlessly curious about exploring underground, experiential, and elusive culture, as well as shining a spotlight on the artists and creators who make and love it. With every story, Per La Mente shares a spark of mystery, a hint of eccentricity, a dash of staggering originality, and a tinge of passionate genius."



Driving awareness for a brand that's a well-kept secret doesn't always have to start with big budgets and an explosion of activity. You can do it by creating a groundswell of interest and intrigue around the brand that stays true to what is loved while becoming relevant to new audiences. By creating Per La Mente, we connected the brand with first-time drinkers who shared their adventurous spirit and, therefore, a greater appreciation for the unique taste of adventure in the glass.


  • Significantly surpassed awareness and consideration KPIs
  • Created a brand-owned media property with >43M Reach
  • Maintained 65K Average Monthly Readers

Client Quote

The team is outstanding! I am blown away by their ability to reach consumers through innovative and powerful lifestyle campaigns.

Andrea Cromaz, then Brand Director, Fernet-Branca