Diageo Knows Marketing

Apr. 19, 2018

It’s easy to think brands like Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, and CÎROC sell themselves, but behind the scenes a lot of people are constantly working behind the scenes to make sure consumers are making meaningful connections with these brands. Our friends at Diageo were recently recognized at the 2018 North American Shopper Marketing Effie Awards. Founded in 1968, the Effies are recognized as a preeminent industry award, and an annual honor bestowed only upon the most effective integrated marketing campaigns, those which engage shoppers and guide them through the purchase process.

High Five for Diageo

This year, Diageo was recognized for its innovative “Whiskey 5” program from 2016, which helped connect consumers with their ideal whiskey. On an interactive website and with eye-catching floor displays, the program posed flavor questions to consumers and recommended specific Diageo whiskeys based on the consumer’s preferences. "Whiskey 5" took home a Silver trophy in the prestigious Category/Aisle Evolution category. 

Diageo’s Director of Shopper Marketing, Jeff Verses, described the program’s origin in a recent statement, "We understood through research that shoppers were hungry to learn more about the whiskey category, but in some instances felt they were lacking guidance on which brands they might like, and so they were forced to default to making selections based primarily on price." 

"The Whiskey 5 program has been effective because, for the first time, whiskey was categorized based on 'taste' and presented to shoppers in a new and different way, not through traditional retail and trade aisle classifications. We are thrilled to be recognized by the Effies for the success of this program,” he added.

Traci Alford, President and CEO of Effie Worldwide praised Diageo and the rest of the winners at this year’s awards. "The marketing and media landscape is evolving quickly, and this year's Shopper Marketing Effie winners highlight the very best of what marketing teams can achieve when brands and retailers work closely to redefine what success looks like along the path to purchase."

The Hits Just Keep Coming

Never happy resting upon their many laurels, the marketing team at Diageo continues to pioneer new ways for the company’s many brands to interact meaningfully in the lives of consumers. One of the recent initiatives finds Smirnoff partnering with popular music streaming platform Spotify. The “Smirnoff Equalizer” gives users the option of “equalizing” the gender balance in the tracks they listen to, bringing parity between male and female artists. According to a statement announcing the program, 100% of the most heavily streamed tracks in 2017 were by male artists. In a world where Beyoncé exists, that seems highly improbable.



The equalizer analyzes the users listening habits from the past six months, provides a ratio of male-to-female artists and then creates a new, balanced playlist, based on the user’s preferences. And all the while, the users are engaging positively with the Smirnoff brand, creating goodwill that will hopefully carry over to the next time she or he makes a spirits purchase decision.

Do You Like Summer Colada?

The sun has not yet set on CÎROC Summer Colada. According to a recent release, CÎROC will bring the wildly popular limited-edition innovation back this summer, as part of the CÎROC Summer Collection. Infused with coconut, pineapple and other natural flavors, Summer Colada was a major hit with consumers during its short time on the market.

Sean “Diddy” Combs is excited about the ways this unique flavor will energize consumers. "This summer we're bringing back Summer Colada, one of our most successful limited-edition variants," said Combs, Chairman of Combs Enterprises. "We're pairing it with CÎROC fan favorites to create the ultimate Summer Collection. CÎROC continues to grow and thrive with flavor innovation and year after year is a dominant force in the market."

To help with consumer engagement, Combs and CÎROC are calling in Colombian singer/songwriter Karol G. to help spread the message, along with Teyana Taylor and Cassie, as part of the #CIROCSummerSquad of 2018. Other flavors joining Summer Colada in the Summer Collection include Peach and Pineapple.

"I'm thrilled to represent CÎROC Summer Colada," says Karol G. about joining the family. "What excites me the most is their commitment to celebrating women,” she added. “Diddy and CÎROC are moving culture forward, while communicating the importance of social responsibility."

Karol G. and the rest of the #CIROCSummerSquad will crisscross the country this summer, engaging with consumers and celebrating female empowerment. The program commences in April and continues as CÎROC and the #CIROCSummerSquad head to one of the nation’s premier music festivals, in the California desert, alongside French Montana and DJ Khaled, spreading the CÎROC message among consumers. Be on the lookout for local market events in select cities throughout the summer as CÎROC keeps the party going. As part of the relaunch and subsequent campaign, CÎROC will also be making donations, both cash and in-kind, to Dress for Success, a non-profit organization that economically empowers women around the world.

To help kick things off for the relaunch, CÎROC released these new cocktails.

Colada Remix
1.5 oz. CÎROC Summer Colada
3 oz. Pineapple juice

Glassware: Pina colada glass
Garnish: Pineapple wedge of mini pineapple with mini umbrella

Coconut Chill
1.5 oz. CÎROC Summer Colada
1 oz. Passion fruit juice
.75 oz. Banana juice (or 1 whole banana)
2 Bar spoons coconut cream
.5 oz. Lemon juice
1 Glass of ice

Glassware: Martini globe glass
Garnish: Pineapple leaves, banana slices and a cherry

Watermelon Breeze
1.5 oz. CÎROC Summer Colada
4 Chunks of watermelon
.75 oz. Lemon juice
.75 oz. Simple syrup
1 oz. Coconut water

Glassware: Highball glass
Garnish: Watermelon chunk and orange chunk

Learn More
Talk to your Breakthru sales consultant about how your business can grow with these campaigns, and follow us on social media to keep up to date on all the newest developments with Diageo and all their brands.

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