Diageo has made initial approaches to London agencies to invite them to compete for the business as its looks to increase advertising support for the brand having recently taken responsibility for its UK distribution and marketing.
Red Stripe has not spent significantly on advertising in the UK. However, this is set to change when Diageo, which owns Red Stripe’s parent company Desnoes and Geddes, takes over the brand in the UK this summer from Wells & Young’s, which has brewed the lager in the UK under licence for the past 30 years.
The majority of Red Stripe’s recent advertising activity has been concentrated on the US market. where BBDO New York is the incumbent on the business. Quiet Storm handles advertising for the brand in its home market of Jamaica.
In the past, the brand has aimed to build an association with music through its advertising. Its most recent international campaign, through BBDO New York, was a film featuring the brand’s Jamaican spokesman ‘The Ambassador" performing a reggae remix of Frankie Goes To Hollywood hit Relax, called "Ambassador say relax". The film aired online and on TV.
Another online film for the brand, also by BBDO New York, featured boxer Lennox Lewis preparing for a fight with the beer's Ambassador. However, the Ambassador realises boxing is dangerous and convinces Lewis to cook some plantain instead.
Red Stripe has previously sponsored the Q music awards in the UK but was replaced as the official sponsor by Carlsberg-owned Tuborg earlier this month.