Guinness launches £12m bid to push quality credentials

Diageo is launching a £12m advertising push to broaden the appeal of the Guinness brand as it looks to kickstart sales of the drink.

Guinness’ latest ad campaign promotes the quality of the drink.

The drinks maker says the “Surge” campaign marks the start of a “permanent investment” into promoting the feeling drinkers get when they taste a Guinness and its quality. It is hoped the move can revive sales, which fell 3 per cent year-on-year in Diageo’s 2013 financial year. However, the company claimed Guinness gained share in the last quarter as a result of increased marketing spend.

TV, print and outdoor activity will roll out nationwide over the next month alongside what the brand claims is an “innovative” mobile advertising push. The brand is currently offering drinkers the chance to win a complimentary pint when they tap their smartphones against the harp logo on newly installed Guinness pumps.

Nicola Samons, marketing manager for Guinness Western Europe at Diageo, says the AMV BBDO created campaign will drive value into the category and increase the visibility of premium beer in the on trade. The brand is growing at 4 per cent “ahead of the total beer category, she adds.

Additionally, an on-trade accreditation programme will roll out to 18,000 pubs and clubs between September and July 2014 to encourage outlets to promote how to pour the perfect of pint of Guinness.

Kevin Bedford, Guinness quality director, adds: “We know that consumers associate a quality pint with a quality pub and research has told us that 80 per cent of male drinkers believe getting the quality of serve right is more important in draught beer than in any other drink category.”

The campaign is the latest phase of the brand’s £34m “Made of More” marketing strategy to win over drinkers amid the rise of premium brands such as Peroni and growing popularity of craft beers. Value sales of the drink fell 3.3 per cent year-on-year to £89.5m for the 52 weeks to 20 July 2013, according to IRI Worldwide, while volumes fell 3.4 per cent to 33.9m litres.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here