Diageo puts $20m on the tab as it relaunches pre-mix for healthier generation

Diageo will plunge $20m on marketing a new range of lighter, lower alcohol pre-mix drinks as it undertakes the biggest overhaul of the category in more than a decade.

lazy-bearThe premix category has come under pressure as cider has grown in popularity and brewers have introduced lower carb, lower alcohol beers.

By comparison marketers have paid little attention to the pre-mix category as it lost share.

Unveiling the new drive to get consumers interested in premix drinks again, David Smith, managing director, Diageo Australia, said that the category had been given a complete facelift and the relaunch would be backed by a marketing budget of $20m.

He said that the move had been a response to people making healthier decisions about how they consume alcohol.

“What Australians are drinking, where and when is changing,” Smith said.

“Not only are consumers drinking more moderately, they’re looking for drinks that contain less sugar and less alcohol than premix traditionally does,” he said.

“The occasions in which consumers are drinking are also changing. While people still love a ‘night out’ for special occasions, the majority of alcohol today is consumed in more casual and relaxed occasions such as at home after work, at a friend’s BBQ or in the pub beer garden on a sunny afternoon.’

lazy-bear-bottleSmith said the move by Diageo signalled a “significant shift for the category.”

“We believe pre-mix is ripe for growth which is why we’re investing so heavily behind it with these great new innovations and supporting marketing campaign,” he said.

Among the new lines with be a lower alcohol, lower sugar vodka mixer, Smirnoff Pure, Bundaberg Rum Lazy Bear, Pimms Sparkling Cup, Pimm’s Lemonade & Ginger Ale and Gordon’s Elderflower Spritz.

As part of the $20m marketing spend Diageo will launch a number of different ads supporting the products including a campaign for Bundaberg Lazy Bear which will coincide with the NRL and AFL Finals series, going to air at the end of next week.

Adam Ballesty, marketing and innovation director, Diageo Australia, said the brands were being given the full support of a multi -platform marketing strategy scaled to match the importance of the product overhaul.

“This is the biggest pre-mix product launch we’ve had in years, which is reflected in the massive marketing campaign we have planned in the lead up to summer,” Ballesty said.


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