Guinness is staking £2.2m on the massive sales boost expected in the run up to St Patrick's Day. It has created an entire marketing campaign with the theme, Party Like the Irish, coming to a head next weekend. The aim is to beat the growth generated by last year's St Patrick's Day activity which the company says increased volume sales of the stout by 11%. Last year Guinness sold 2.4 million more Draught in cans in March and April than it did in 2000. Brand director David Smith said: "The event is one of the unmissable celebrations of the year and we have worked hard to ensure all our supporting activities work together to create the perfect party atmosphere. "We are confident that as March 17 falls on a Sunday revellers will be keen to party throughout the whole weekend, resulting in fantastic sales figures." The brewer has been working with multiple grocers to create instore theatre using specially created point of sale material, and with specialists and convenience stores it has developed joint branded material incorporating Guinness images. Backing this up will be a range of price promotions including £1 off four cans to encourage less frequent purchasers, £4 off 12-packs and a £13.99 price for 18-packs to reward regular drinkers. The brewer has also booked 7,000 six-sheet poster sites to advertise the celebrations and is contacting 400,000 consumers on its database to provide information on the festivities. The brand is backed by a £20m budget this year. {{DRINKS }}