Diageo battles ‘outdated’ views on whisky in new David Beckham ad

Diageo is launching a new campaign for Haig Club ‘Clubman’ starring David Beckham, in a bid to challenge the “status quo” of how and when people should drink scotch whisky.


Diageo is launching a campaign today (21 September) for its Haig Club ‘Clubman’ variant, which seeks to change people’s “outdated” views on how and where scotch should be consumed and encourage them to have it as part of a cocktail.

The 360-degree campaign, which shows David Beckham enjoying a drink with some friends against the Miami skyline, launches in print today and will run across TV, digital, outdoor and social. It will also involve experiential activations and sampling.

Ronan Beirne, global marketing director of Haig Club, told Marketing Week that the brand is eager to “disrupt the status quo” when it comes to scotch consumption.

“Many people have outdated views on scotch – they believe it’s a winter drink that should be had neat on the rocks. But with Clubman we want to show that it can be had mixed with cola or as part of a cocktail. We’ve taken a ‘no rules’ approach [to the campaign].”


Appealing to a female audience

Haig Club was originally launched by Diageo two and a half years ago in partnership with David Beckham. Beirne says that of “all the celebrity partnerships” the company has done, Haig Club has been the “most natural and powerful” due to Beckham’s close involvement.

“The Haig Club is personal to him – his grandad used to drink and enjoy Haig. It was very much a hands-on partnership from end to end. We’ve also been blown away by Beckham’s level of global appeal. It’s genuinely evergreen,” he commented.

Diageo aimed to introduce more people to whisky when it launched the Haig Club. According to Beirne, the brand has been particularly successful appealing to a female audience.

“[Unlike other whisky brands], our gender profile is pretty balanced – I’d say about 50/50 male and female. What we’re finding with Haig Club is that it brings lots of women into the category, and Beckham is definitely a big help,” he said.