COMMENT: Diageo gin to get new fizz
Following the withdrawal of Gordon's Edge, an attempt to compete in the ready-to-drink spirit (RTD) market, Diageo's Gordon's brand has gone back to basics with a campaign to revitalize the image of gin in the UK.
Despite being one of the chief manufacturers of the drink, the British are not great gin drinkers and more than 70% of all gin produced in the UK is exported. Gordon's Edge was an attempt to expand the market by appealing to the 18- to 24-year-olds who drink Smirnoff Ice, Archers Aqua and Bacardi Breezer. However, the drink was too similar to an ordinary gin and tonic to impress consumers and was quickly withdrawn.
The current campaign focuses on the spirit itself and its crisp, refreshing taste. The campaign is clearly timed for the summer and shows two characters finding more and more ridiculous ways to refresh themselves, while others sip gin. Although the campaign is to be based around TV, print and online ads, there will also be below-the-line activity as Diageo seeks to drive home its message that gin is relevant, modern and refreshing.
In this campaign Gordon's has taken on the task not merely of trying to win over rival gin drinkers but of trying to increase the general demand for gin. This is a reflection of the brand's dominant status in the gin market - a 39% share according to Diageo - which means that many people see the brand as being synonymous with gin. Certainly, the Gordon's brand can only benefit from increased gin consumption.
With this campaign message, Diageo is clearly targeting the under 35s in a bid to create a new generation of gin drinkers. However, gin's current low consumption among this age group suggests that the company will have to fight an uphill battle to win 'share of throat' from more established youth brands such as Archer's or Smirnoff.
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