Diageo reveals multi-million pound drive to 'revolutionise' spirits category

By Jessica Mason

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Johnnie walker

Diageo will be running new TV ads for its Smirnoff vodka brand
Diageo will be running new TV ads for its Smirnoff vodka brand
Diageo has unveiled plans to spend to £7.5m in the UK for 2014 to help “revolutionise the spirits category by recreating the food revolution of the last 30 years.”

Speaking at a media briefing, the drinks giant revealed advertising plans for core brands including Smirnoff, Baileys and Johnnie Walker where the focus was on “premiumisation” and “inspiring consumers.”

James Cragg, GB’s head of category development at Diageo said: “We think there is an opportunity to reset the spirits category and really inspire consumers. If you think about what Jamie Oliver did, he simplified things and made them accessible to all, but he also really inspired people. That is what we want to do in spirits.”

Smirnoff

As part of the new drive, Diageo will give Smirnoff a “continuous media presence” for its new serve ‘Smirnoff Apple Bite’ [Smirnoff, apple juice and lemonade] and ‘Smirnoff Apple Bite Gold’ [Smirnoff Gold, apple juice and lemonade] and will screen television adverts for the serves “between now and Christmas,” said Smirnoff senior brand manager Jessica Lace.

Baileys

In addition, Diageo has also disclosed its new brand positioning for its Baileys cream liqueur brand. Last year, the brand had a media spend of £3.9m as well as a new bottle with a slimmer shape. This year, Diageo “plans to increase investment in the Baileys brand by 35%,” said Baileys marketing manager Bryony Stickells.

Diageo’s recent launch of its Belgian chocolate variant Baileys Chocolat Luxe has been backed by a £5.5m marketing campaign which includes TV advertising and the roll out of a new stemmed glassware range to appeal to female drinkers as well as a national sampling campaign that aims to reach “over 300,000 consumers”.

“Baileys will receive a £4.9m marketing push across October to December,” said Stickells, adding that the brand is also set to launch a new follow up television advert as the next stage of its ‘Cream with Spirit’ campaign and has signed a three-year partnership with The Women’s Prize for Fiction to really reach out to its core demographic.

Johnnie Walker

For the Johnnie Walker whisky brand, the company is set to launch a national campaign specifically pushing Johnnie Walker Red Label and ginger ale as a new serve.

"The Johnnie Walker Red Label national campaign includes a new bottle and new advertising and is part of a £7m spend on Johnnie Walker. We will be spending £1.3m in media in November on Johnnie Walker Red Label, launching our national TV advertising from 4 November,” said Diageo customer marketing director Steven Hamilton.

"This means the brand will be back on TV for the first time in 50 years. The growth model for Johnnie Walker in GB is simple. To drive aspiration and to make accessible," added Hamilton.

The new Johnnie Walker Red Label advertising uses the catchline: “Where flavour is king” and the Johnnie Walker brand will continue its global sponsorship of Formula 1, the Ryder Cup as well as individual link ups with Dunhill and GQ.

Bell's

Diageo also added that its Bell’s whisky brand would continue its tie-up with Help for Heroes to raise money for the charity through bottle sales as well as focus on other projects such as its new drinks recipe website The Bar​ in which it recently invested £1m.

Related topics Spirits & Cocktails

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