Name an alcoholic drinks advertiser? Chances are your thoughts are
with Guinness. Given that familiarity - and that strong association with
great creative - it may surprise some to discover that Guinness GB is
only the 58th biggest ad spender in the UK.
In 1999, Guinness GB spent pounds 23.8 million on its brand. This was
broadly on a par with Carlsberg Tetley, which spent pounds 22.7 million,
and Bass (pounds 21.6 million). However, it was behind companies such as
Whitbread (pounds 28.9 million), United Distillers & Vintners (pounds
30.2 million) and Scottish Courage. The latter spent more than pounds
34.5 million promoting its big brands such as McEwan’s and Courage
Carat is responsible for the Guinness media planning and buying account,
having won the business back in October 1998 following the merger of
Guinness and Grand Metropolitan to create Diageo. Before the merger,
MindShare had handled the Guinness business.
Carat spent the majority of last year’s budget on TV, which accounted
for pounds 16.1 million. Outdoor also figured highly in the mix, with a
spend of pounds 4 million. Cinema picked up pounds 1.53 million and
press landed pounds 920,000.
Guinness made little use of direct mail or doordrops in 1999. Its output
accounted for just 2 per cent of all beer and lager mailings tracked
during the year.
Adspend was spread fairly evenly throughout the year, although cinema
advertising was restricted to between May and September. December was
the busiest month, taking 19 per cent of spend.
The most popular ITV stations used in 1999 were Central (pounds 1.72
million), LWT (pounds 1.39 million), Granada (pounds 1.35 million),
Carlton (pounds 1.33 million), Meridian (pounds 1.03 million) and
Channel 4 London (pounds 610,000). Spend on satellite television was
dominated by Sky Sports (pounds 850,000) and Sky 1 (pounds 240,000).
Radio stations attracting the most spend included Virgin (pounds
179,000), Capital (pounds 171,000), Talk Radio (pounds 129,000) and
Galaxy FM (pounds 78,000).
Last year, Guinness GB decided to concentrate fully on its core brand -
the famous black-and-white stout - with the aim of delivering consistent
branding between the on-trade and off-trade markets.
At the end of 1998, Guinness GB axed its unsuccessful Enigma lager and
transferred the marketing and production of Harp Irish lager to regional
brewer Wolverhampton and Dudley. Then, in April 1999, Guinness announced
a major promotion of its Extra Cold brand in a summer drive to attract
Guinness changed creative agencies at the end of 1998 - with Abbott Mead
Vickers taking over from Ogilvy & Mather - and it launched a campaign
this year using the tagline, ’Good things come to those who wait.’
More recent innovations include the launch of a point-of-purchase
promotion in the form of an air fan.
Research by AC Neilsen MMS tel: 01344-627553 www.mediamonitoring.com.