Diageo Great Britain plans to launch a heavyweight marketing and advertising campaign to push sales of Pimm's over the summer in the UK.

The company said yesterday (26 April) that it will be investing GBP3.5m (US$7m) in Pimm's No. 1 Cup spirit drink from May until the end of August.

The campaign, which aims to cash in on the forecast warm weather over the coming months, will include television, press and digital advertising, as well as experiential marketing, PR and sampling.

The TV campaign will hit screens on 24 May, while sampling days will take place in retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Asda, Somerfield, Threshers and Oddbins, involving around 750,000 people being targeted in-store.

"Pimm's is one of those sign-post brands that people associate with the British summer," said Pimm's brand manager Matt Campbell. "It has a strong seasonal focus and enjoys a significant uplift during the summer months and in periods of good weather. Last year was our biggest summer ever for sales of Pimm's and this year, with an even larger marketing campaign, new TV ads, and the boosted sampling activity, we are confident retailers will again enjoy strong sales.

The drinks will be available in the standard 70cl and 1-litre bottles, Pimm's and lemonade in single cans, four packs and Pimm's and lemonade in a 1-litre glass bottle.  Also available this year are gift packs including a Pimm's 1-litre bottle with a free jug and a six-pack of Pimm's and lemonade in cans and a cool-bag.