French drinks firm Marnier-Lapostolle is to spend GBP500,000 (US$728,000) on a UK summer marketing campaign for its Grand Marnier 'Esprit' drink.

The Grand Esprit cocktail, launched last year, will make a comeback this summer with a number of on-trade activities, the company said yesterday (25 March).

The campaign will see 782 samplings in 17 UK cities, with 64,000 samples distributed and 1,600 Grand Esprit POS kits distributed. 

The Grand Esprit will also be promoted through consumer print and on-line media. It has become the 'Official Long Summer Drink' of the National BBQ Association's Gastro Alfresco campaign, which breaks on 21 May and runs until 6 September.

Nicki Daw, marketing manager for Grand Marnier, said: "We wanted to demonstrate to the consumer how perfect Grand Marnier is for BBQs and other summer outdoor occasions. Thanks to our strong summer education programme the brand's year round versatility will get a tremendous boost in 2009."

Last Autumn, Grand Marnier launched a UK marketing campaign designed to encourage consumers to add the spirit to their after dinner coffees. The campaign focused attention on the 'Grand Café': a 25ml serving of the orange-flavoured liqueur added to coffee and topped with a cream float.