Diageo refreshes spirit of summer

02 May, 2008

Diageo is ploughing £1.4 million into a marketing push for its core spirits brands this summer.

The drinks giant is hoping to encourage consumers to mix their own drinks at home by including recipe guides on bottles of Pimm's, Smirnoff and Gordon's.

Called Refreshing Tastes for Long Summer Days, the campaign will also include sponsorship of ITV Weather's UV updates during the early evening news, a national sampling push and a new website - refreshingtastes.com - which goes live in June and will include additional recipe ideas and offers.

After Christmas, summer is the biggest season for spirits, with 36% of off-trade sales made between May and September, according to Diageo. "However, research has shown that many consumers lack the knowledge and tools to make great spirit-based drinks at home," a spokeswoman says.

Diageo will be encouraging retailers to merchandise the relevant spirits and mixers together on shelf, and in-store POS will also be available, including posters and shelf-edge wobblers.

Ali Wilkes, category development marketing manager for spirits, said: "We tested the Summer Refreshment campaign in a top three UK grocer in 2007 and, despite the poor weather, a 13% year-on-year increase was achieved. Shoppers want easy solutions for their summer drinks

and we believe this campaign will

help to provide this."

Cranberry juice brand Ocean Spray is

teaming up with Diageo to offer a free 1-litre carton with 70cl bottles of Smirnoff. A 25cl can of ready-mixed Smirnoff & Cranberry will also hit retailers' shelves in May, priced at £1.59 and with 7.5% abv.

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