Diageo GB has revealed plans to ensure it has a very merry Christmas through investment and festive activity for its key brands.

It is investing in its classic brands Baileys, Gordon's, Guinness and Smirnoff, as well as its whiskey and ready-to-drink portfolios and Pimm's Winter.

Christmas activity for Gordon's Gin, backed by a £2.5m investment, will include a new TV campaign from next month, entitled 'Gordon's - the G in G&T'. Diageo will also be pushing the brand's Sloe Gin variant with sampling activity.

It will be investing £2m in Smirnoff Red, including an off-trade promotion to leverage the brand's Russian heritage, which offers the chance to 'Live like a Czar for a year'.

Support for Guinness will have a strong focus on the off-trade this Christmas, according to Diageo. It will spend £7m on the brand, including a second burst of the Guinness Draught in cans 'Fridge' TV ad, as well as support and in-store demonstrations for the Guinness Surger gadget, launched earlier this year.

"Last Christmas there were large areas of heavy discounting in beer," said marketing director Russell Jones. "If Guinness Draught is displayed right, it sells itself at Christmas and doesn't need discounting." Pimm's Winter is also getting a festive push. The brand, launched in 2005, did well last year, said Diageo, and will get a £1m investment inTV ads over a nine-week period this winter. The ads will star Pimm's' Harry character in winter-specific settings.

Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey will get a new look, with more emphasis on its brand name, plus a £500,000 campaign focusing on Irish storytelling: 'Bushmills. In everyone a story.'

Bell's, Talisker and Johnnie Walker will appear in gift packs and Bulleit bourbon will have an on-pack poker promotion.

Diageo is not neglecting the ailing RTD category either. It is investing in Smirnoff Ice, Quinn's, Classic Mix and Slate 20.

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