Guinness to get annual celebration

Guinness to get annual celebration

Diageo is to looking to make 'Arthur's Day' an annual event for its Guinness brand.

Buoyed by the success of last year's global festival to mark 250 years since Arthur Guinness signed the 9,000 year lease on the St James's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Diageo is planning an annual celebration for the brand.

It is unclear whether an annual campaign would involve organised events or be based purely around advertising and promotion.    

Last year's festival, held on 24 September, included music concerts in key Guinness markets from Lagos to Dublin and generated 2bn media impressions worldwide.

In a tough Ireland market, the event "led to significant brand equity improvements and share gains in both the on-trade and the off-trade for the brand", Diageo said in its half-year results statement, released last week.

Diageo has positioned Guinness as one of the most recession-resilient drinks in its portfolio.

Even so, global sales volumes fell by 2% in the six months to the end of December, against the same period a year earlier. Like-for-like value sales rose 1%, thanks to price increases.

A Diageo spokesperson told just-drinks today (17 February): "As a result of the success of Arthur's Day in 2009, plans are underway to build on its success and momentum with Arthur's Day becoming an annual global marketing initiative for the Guinness brand."

Guinness is already heavily linked to Ireland's St Patrick's Day, which is also celebrated in many countries around the world on 17 March.