Branding & Marketing

Strategy | Copywriting | Creative Direction

SABI Mockup


I’ve had my fair share of booze clients. I’ve named new brands, created campaigns, done branding, and led creative direction on digital efforts. But through working with a wide variety of spirits, I had yet to work on a brand quite like this. SABI Wasabi Whiskey is unique in its flavor profile, and especially in its branding.


The look and feel was pretty much established when this project came to our agency, but there was no messaging whatsoever. I led creative efforts to establish a strong voice for the brand that would identify with its Millennial target audience. Visually, the brand was a mashup of Asian cultures, so to ensure that was never offensive, I recommend we own it with a tongue and cheek voice that acknowledged the ridiculousness of a dragon and samurai-inspired spirit.

Part of our positioning was to pose a challenge to our audience, both to their current drink of choice, and in daring them to try such a bizarre and powerful flavor. Sample messaging from the brand book:

Today’s fancy whiskeys have drifted from the strong libations of the past. They’re no longer those kick-it-back-and-watch-your-chest-hairs-grow type of shots. No, men sip it as if it were a Sour Appletini. SABI Whiskey is putting the kick, back into ‘kick a few back.’ 


I led creative strategy and efforts across several platforms, including video. Messaging focused on encouraging folks to get in touch with their inner samurai. The tagline posed a masculine challenge, something Millennial males love.





Many liquor sites are just frills and have no real value. At best you might have a “find it” feature. I wanted more. Thinking like our audience, I realized most college students or young boozers might want to make shooters with this odd-flavored liquor, but aren’t the type to think ahead. So, let’s cater to that spontaneity, and create a drink builder that asks what you have, then tells you what you could make. In addition to this fun feature, my messaging was utilized throughout the site.