AVO Cigars Syncro Ritmo can be credited with having one of the most innovative, fun-loving launches in the history of cigars.
When you flip through the pages of your favourite Cigar magazine, you can’t help but stop and linger over the double page spread of the AVO Ritmo ad where you can practically smell the fresh, ocean air.
Suddenly, you’re longing to be at the beach.
What does that tell us?
Quite simply … the marketing team responsible for the AVO Syncro Ritmo portfolio did their job.
It started, of course, with the AVO blending team making a fantastic cigar.
Then the marketing team stepped up with an incredibly well-thought-out, specific identity for that cigar, using images & colors to ensure the Ritmo brand became instantly recognizable.
Cigar Herf’s Val Bradshaw sat down with Scott Kolesaire – AVO Cigars Sr. Brand Manager – to discover the various paths the Ritmo journey actually took …
CigarHerf: When was the official launch of the AVO Ritmo?
Scott Kolesaire: The new AVO Ritmo was launched at the end of May this year (2017).
CH: What’s the AVO Ritmo Cigar “Point of Difference”?
SK: It’s a blend we’ve never done before.
As a matter of fact, as far as I know, no one in the cigar industry has ever done a blend that uses 7 different tobaccos from 7 different countries.
While bringing a cigar like this to market is truly innovative, it’s actually an endeavor that Avo himself had been working on for years.
As always, within the Davidoff family, the product itself is our 1st consideration and in the case of AVO’s Ritmo, it was something we wanted to bring out now & make it really special.
CH: AVO Syncro Ritmo colors evoke thoughts & mental-images of a beach lifestyle.
Was this a consideration in the design of AVO Ritmo band & accessory products or did it evolve to its current packaging?”
SK: Here at AVO Cigars, we do everything from a 360 view:
Product. Packaging. Marketing / Communication. Merchandising.
There has to be synergy. It all has to come together as one.
We know there’s a lot going on in the cigar world, so AVO Ritmo was designed to stand out and have people excited about what we do.
CH: The AVO Ritmo line activated a thought pattern for me that I’d never experienced from any other cigar.
It started with the cigar, which smokes beautifully, and then all the ancillary products tied in like a by-the-sea experience made of white sand, sunny skies & warm water.
The marriage of blues & yellows are instantly recognizable and unlike anything else in the humidor.
How did your team decide on the brand colors for the cigar, as well as the Ritmo accessory products?
SK: In making the Ritmo Cigar, the AVO Blending Team chose tobaccos expanding into South & Central America.
The AVO Marketing Team had to reflect & ask ourselves: “How do we bring that to life without even having to say it?”
That’s when we starting looking at colors.
There is a South American look to the floral yellows, the sky blues, & oceanic turquoise.
There was nothing out there that had approached cigar packaging in this fashion. We knew we were on the right track by sticking to the bright visuals that people generally relate to when thinking about South & Central America.
To support the color palette, we answered another series of questions:
“What can we do that’s fun?”
“What will encourage people to dip into the Ritmo Circle?”
“What will inspire the cigar smoker to say: “Whoa! That’s Cool!”?
The “wow” factor is always our goal here at AVO Cigars.
If we’re getting that from the consumer, we’re doing our job.
So, for the “marketing merchandise”, we went with a Ritmo Beach Bag, Waterproof Floatable Key Chain & Flip Flop Sandals.
Those items were made available to consumers as a gift with purchase.
Nobody in cigars had done that before and people loved it!
We wanted our AVO Ritmo launch to be a go-to-market strategy that was completely unexpected; to take a step back from what everyone has historically relied on for cigar launch accessories – a cutter, a lighter and other items like that.
The AVO Marketing Team came through with an identity that really stood out – so the Ritmo launch would be unforgettable.
We went with the perfect color palette to depict the South America environment as well as the accessories that would be packed in a branded bag that evoked a visit the beaches along the Pacific Ocean during the summer months.
CH: You absolutely succeeded with that winning combination of colors & images.
But can you tell me what tied it all together so well that when I see Ritmo magazine ads, I wish I were there, right in the pictures?
SK: We made sure we had a “Key Visual” – a unique image that depicts what’s going on behind the scenes.
The visual that answers the question: “Where would you be enjoying this cigar?”
We hired an Artist from Madrid to create “an atmosphere” – an environment image that people can relate to or be intrigued by.
With AVO being an artist in music, the visual art played into that as well.
We’ve been very pleased with the results of the entire multi-media approach to launching the Ritmo cigar.
The excitement people have experienced is unsurpassed.
It’s been the biggest launch, the best launch, the most successful launch that we’ve had for the AVO portfolio in its entire history.
AVO Cigars has been around for almost 3 decades.
We know from experience that if the product is launched well & has excitement behind it, there will be longevity, which is good for both our company and our customers.
People remember the experience and the excitement; it doesn’t get lost in the fast-paced world of cigars.
A big deal was made out of Ritmo from day one.
And that’s what helps us long term.
Really, it’s a team effort from everyone here at AVO Cigars and throughout our retail network …
“We build brands – not make products”
AVO Syncro Ritmo FUN FACTS:
The “Syncro Pillar” was about bringing different worldly tobaccos together – “fusion”
AVO Cigars looked to develop a modern name and ended up landing on “Syncro”,
Syncro is a short for synchronized
It’s a music term that’s also in sync with syncing tobaccos from different countries.
With “AVO Ritmo”, ringing in the musical equity, Rhythm was a base for the new blend.
Since South & Central America are at the core of this release, the translation of the term fit perfectly – Ritmo – which is Spanish for Rhythm
Sr. Brand Manager for AVO Cigars
… for enlightening us to the incredible journey that is the
AVO Syncro Ritmo Cigar.
About Oettinger Davidoff AG
The CHF 1.2 billion Oettinger Davidoff AG, with over 3,500 employees around the world, traces its roots back to 1875 and remains family owned to this day with two distinctly different businesses: one that is focused on FMCG distribution in the Swiss market and one dedicated to the core business of producing, marketing and retailing premium branded cigars, tobacco products and accessories.
The premium branded cigar business includes:
Davidoff, AVO, Camacho, Cusano, Griffin’s, Private Stock, Zino and Zino Platinum.
Oettinger Davidoff AG is anchored in a strong “crop-to- shop” philosophy, having pursued a vertical integration from the tobacco fields in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua to the worldwide network of almost 70 Davidoff Flagship Stores.