"When people come to Pinterest, they are at a point where they are interested in a product, service or category" - Interview, Pinterest UK & Ireland country manager Adele Cooper

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Online pinboard Pinterest is designed to help consumers plan. The platform allows users to 'pin' images for everything from wedding ideas to cocktail recipes. Earlier this year, the site crossed the 200m user mark - with the average age of a user over 18. Earlier this month, just-drinks deputy editor Lucy Britner spoke to the company's UK & Ireland country manager, Adele Cooper, to find out how drinks brand owners can make the most of Pinterest.

Pinterest was launched in 2010

Pinterest was launched in 2010

just-drinks: Can you explain why consumers use Pinterest?

Adele Cooper: People come to the platform to look for ideas that they will hopefully do or buy in their real life. People come to us to plan fairly early on in the process - it can range from cooking dinner and looking for a recipe to moving house and looking for decorating ideas.

j-d: How does it work?

There's a natural fit between the content people are looking for and paid advertising

AC: It's a visual discovery app. Around 75% of the content on Pinterest comes from brands and businesses. If you think about it, products and services from businesses are key to most of the things you are planning. There's a natural fit between the content people are looking for on the platform and paid advertising.

We hope it also gives people the confidence to try something new for the first time and experiment.

j-d: How many drinks firms use Pinterest?

AC: In the UK, there are more than 30 alcoholic and non-alcoholic manufacturers.

j-d: What kinds of things do drinks companies use Pinterest for, and what are the benefits?

AC: There's a lot of content on the platform about giving people inspiration and ideas around drinks - cocktail recipes, party ideas and recipes including drinks - to more emotional brand campaigns. Christmas is big for food and drinks - you get emotional brand campaigns as well as just very practical campaigns, such as 'how-to' tutorials.

Adele Cooper is UK & Ireland country manager at Pinterest

j-d: What tends to succeed?

AC: More emotionally-driven campaigns lead to content that's then useful. The content that does best is helpful to people in some way because they come to Pinterest to plan. Sometimes, a brand campaign puts that product top of mind.

j-d: Lots of drinks companies appear to be obsessed with Instagram.

AC: When people come to Pinterest, they are at a point where they are interested in a product, service or category but they haven't decided who they're going to buy it from. It allows businesses to tap into that intent early on in the process. That's what differentiates Pinterest from other platforms - the ability to reach people when they are actively planning something and put your product top of mind. It's also a place where people are looking for content from businesses and they get ads that are along the lines of what they are looking for. So, it's a much more efficient place to reach consumers.

j-d: Can you explain developments in image-led searching?

AC: We are doing a lot with visual discovery both on- and off-line. If you're looking at a pin and you're interested in a product or item in the pin, not necessarily the whole pin, you can do a search just for that item and get more content related to that item.

Offline - you can take a picture of something in the offline world and have that trigger content as well. For example, if a user takes a picture of a pink cocktail using a Pinterest lens, the app will find other pink cocktails, recipes and glassware relating to the picture.

The other development in relation to the Pinterest lens is around QR codes. We've done a couple of campaigns around QR codes where you take a picture of the code using Pinterest and you're taken to additional branded content around that item. For example, Cath Kidston had a recent campaign where they were launching a new range of bags. Each had a different colour and different QR code. If you went into the store and took a picture of the QR code, you would be taken to that bag's personal Pinterest board - with information of how to style the bag and similar accessories in similar colours.

I think this would work well in the drinks world where you're able to have QR codes unlock different drinks and different recipe ideas or party ideas.

j-d: You must be able to gather a lot of consumer data around what people are drinking around the world - any interesting stats?

We have seen a 125% increase in people searching for cocktail recipes over the last year

AC: In the UK, we have seen a 125% increase in people searching for cocktail recipes over the last year. We can see emerging trends and gain insights on what people are searching for and saving.

j-d: What kinds of recipes are people searching for at the moment? 

AC: We're seeing the following ideas trending for the holidays: blackberry thyme cocktails, beer-infused cocktails and mulled white wine recipes

j-d: Can you give me an example of a project with a drinks company?

AC: One that springs to mind is Diageo's Baileys brand - they did a combination of recipe pins and a 'how to' video around their Almande launch. They drove a double-digit lift in awareness of the product following the campaign.

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