Smirnoff plans direct approach as events task goes to RPM

LONDON - Diageo is preparing to run a direct push for its Smirnoff Experience music events following the appointment of experiential agency RPM to handle the £1.6m business.

RPM was hired by Diageo following a competitive pitch against Sledge, Exposure and incumbent KLP.

The experiential and sales promotion-based activity, which breaks early next year, will run across 25 markets in six continents.

Smirnoff Experience has been running for five years. In the UK it centres on one-off music events in major cities including Liverpool, Sheffield and London. Each event features celebrity DJs, such as Tall Paul and Judge Jules, as well as extensive sampling activity.

In recent years, Diageo has sought to establish Smirnoff Experience as an interactive clubbing community by running cross-promotional activity with leading venues.

It has also used the events as a platform to promote its Smirnoff Red and Smirnoff Ice brands to young adults.

In June the vodka brand launched a website to support Smirnoff Experience.

It featured exclusive interviews, tickets, news and competitions for its global music events.

Diageo is now expected to increase its marketing investment in the brand, following the introduction of advertising guidelines from Ofcom that outlaw any association between alcohol and celebrities, sexual innuendo or pop music.

Earlier this year, Diageo launched Smirnoff Norsk, a Nordic berry-flavoured vodka. Its introduction was backed by a £400,000 spend, which included in-store activity and sampling in style bars across the UK.

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