"For a company that's famous for single brand marketing, that's a big statement," said Russell Jones, Diageo's director of category development.
The drinks giant will spend £3 million on an above-the-line campaign aimed at increasing the number of occasions that consumers can enjoy spirit and mixer drinks. The push will include encouraging retailers to merchandise spirits alongside mixers, garnishes and ice, and extending the seasonality of spirits with cross-brand promotions. For example, this summer Diageo is ploughing £1.4 million into its Refreshing Tastes for Summer Days campaign, which will include recipe guides on bottles of Pimm's, Smirnoff and Gordon's, and break-bumper ads promoting three of its core brands during ITV weather updates.
Diageo has also extended its advertising for Baileys - a brand traditionally associated with Christmas - to include Easter and Mother's Day.
Jones said: "Raise Your Spirits is our blueprint for growing the spirits category in Great Britain. Total consumer spend is already £6 billion, but there is still a massive opportunity for growth." He added that Diageo is looking at initiatives to encourage consumers to trade up, such as creating loyalty programmes
to reward regular purchases of premium brands.