Pernod Ricard to increase Christmas spend by 70%

Brand plans to invest £5m in November and December.

Pernod Ricard: gin is biggest player in Christmas roster
Pernod Ricard: gin is biggest player in Christmas roster

Pernod Ricard UK is planning to invest £5m in marketing ahead of Christmas – nearly 70% more than what the brand spent during the same period last year.

This spend will be primarily for the Campo Viejo, Chivas Regal, Glenlivet, Jameson, Kahlúa and Plymouth Gin brands across traditional advertising (up 37%), PR and activity in the on-trade.

These products will be promoted through a series of above-the-line campaigns, including TV and digital media. Pernod Ricard UK is also supporting pubs and bars by "creating great drinks, exciting experiences and knock-out festive menus".

While most of these brands have been chosen due to their "giftability" in the run-up to the festive season, Kahlúa has been added due to the growing popularity of what Pernod Ricard referred to as "cocktails-at-home culture".

According to the company, Google searches for espresso martini are up 156% over the past three years, highlighting the importance of Kahlúa, a coffee liqueur, in the alcohol market.

The biggest player in Pernod Ricard’s Christmas roster is gin, which the company claims will be a popular gift this year.

Forty-four per cent of consumers say they would give gin as a gift, while a third said they are happy to pay more for quality drinks over Christmas, according to Savvy Shopper Panel Research June 2018.

This is largely due to gin’s versatility, since it is reportedly used in 21% of mainstream cocktails, such as brambles and martinis.

Pernod Ricard has also focused on promoting whisky ahead of the winter months, due to a large intake of single malts at Christmas.

"A lot of the conversation at the moment, rightly in the spirits category, is about gin," Johnny Peacock, customer development strategy and planning director at Pernod Ricard, said. "We are trying to find a balance between the supersonic growth of gin without forgetting about Scotch."

Pernod Ricard is also planning to promote its drinks through a range of cocktails, including Hot Chancha (containing Havana Club 7), Christingle and Pinktingle (both containing Beefeater gin).