Diageo is investing £41 million in its
campaign to date.
The spend is "three times more than the number two and number three competitor combined ", according to sales director David Smith.
It includes putting £12 million into heavyweight marketing
for its core spirits brands, Smirnoff, Baileys and Bell's, with TV, cinema and press ads running from October.
This year the producer believes the take-home spirits market could be boosted by an extra £37 million, despite tough economic conditions.
Gifting will be a key competent of the producer's Christmas investment. Fifty three different gift packs will be available, including a bottle of Smirnoff Red inside a cocktail shaker (rrp £17), a shaker in the form of a Russian doll for Smirnoff Black (rrp £20.99), a Talisker gift pack in the shape of a yacht fender and a Baileys chocolate fondue set - one of 13 gift SKUs for the brand.
Last Christmas consumers spent £112 million on spirits gifts - up 5% on the previous year, Diageo reported.
Smith said: "Last year there was £28 million of incremental value and Diageo drove 75% of that growth. The opportunity this year is just as big. Consumers may have tightened their belt, but they're looking to loosen it. At times like this, people want a
bit more of a treat."
retailers "should focus on single bottle promotions". This follows Diageo's decision last Christmas to only promote on single bottle prices,
generating a 4.3% uplift in sales.