Diageo looks to ‘close the circle’ between content and sales with Amazon tie-up

Diageo has partnered with Amazon Prime to create a new travel series as it looks to create content that not only inspires but leads to purchase.

Diageo Reserve has inked a deal with Amazon as part of wider moves to ‘close the circle’ between content and sales and introduce its brands to new audiences.

The five-part travel series World Class List follows aspiring musician and drinks enthusiast Carey Watkins. Watkins explores the best of what to see, do, eat and drink in Sydney, Taipei, Barcelona, San Francisco and Mexico City. Guiding him on his journey are some of the world’s top bartenders, who will explain how to make the best cocktails using Diageo Reserve brands, including Ketel One, Ciroc and Don Julio tequila.

The 20-minute videos are available to view on Amazon Prime in the Germany and the UK, as well as on other services such as YouTube. The series will also be promoted on the brands’ social channels and through its brand ambassadors.

A partnership with Amazon was considered appealing for two reasons; It offers a mass audience and allows Diageo to embed links to the products, which can be ordered via its ecommerce site.

“We can raise awareness, but if they can’t buy the products, it’s void. [The partnership with Amazon] gives us that complete circle – we can entertain and educate viewers with how-to guides, and then make it as easy as possible for them to make the purchase,” Johanna Dalley, World Class global director at Diageo Reserve, tells Marketing Week.

“It’s the perfect storm – we are creating content that inspires people to buy our brands, and we can directly look at conversion and click-through rates.”

Dalley says content marketing is becoming increasingly important to the business, as younger consumers are watching less traditional TV and are moving to VOD services instead.

It’s the perfect storm – we are creating content that inspires people to buy our brands, and we can directly look at conversion and click through rates.

Johanna Dalley, Diageo

“While above-the-line campaigns are still important, younger audiences are moving away from that in favour of Amazon and Netflix. With a more marketing-savvy audience, the old school marketing approach doesn’t work, so we have to find new ways to inspire and educate,” she explains.

“There is a shift towards content marketing within Diageo more broadly. In terms of monetisation, we will see more partnerships with Amazon from a commercial perspective. Other retailers are content hungry too, and are looking for content for their websites. [We will] provide them with content if it helps people click through to purchase.”

The project is also aimed at helping Diageo Reserve to branch out beyond the trade sector. While it previously targeted bar tenders through its trade advocacy programme, it now wants to attract a wider audience by capitalising on the current “cocktail culture” trend.

“There are a huge number of consumers who are cocktail-savvy and love discovering new spirits. Just look at the revolution in gin, it’s also happening with tequila and bourbon. By pushing into the consumer space, we want to make people care about what they drink in the same way they do about food,” she explains.

That said, it’s a “skill and balance” to not force brands down people’s necks, as Dalley jokingly adds: “It’s the dark art of content”. To avoid people switching off, Diageo Reserve avoided heavy scripting and chose bar tenders who could talk “honestly” about the products.

“We’re confident we have the right balance, as we do feature other products that would go into cocktails, like liqueurs that aren’t part of the Diageo portfolio. So hopefully mixed with our own brands that won’t jar too much with viewers,” she concludes.

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