Guinness’s plan to become the world’s biggest beer brand is big and bold, given that the global beer market is forecast to be worth circa $700 billion by 2020.
Guinness has appointed marketing agency R/GA London to help them achieve their goal. The strategy is that social and digital channels will get the beer brand to the top, not traditional media and not more TV campaigns.
A spokesman for R/GA said: “R/GA London can confirm it has been appointed digital agency of record for the Guinness global brand team. As part of this relationship, we will be collaborating closely with Diageo’s existing roster of agencies working on Guinness.” Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO will continue to handle social content creation.
We understand that ‘engagement’ is the key metric and Burst Insight’s Engagement Score (which factors in post frequency and combines all public profile engagement metrics weighted against the top brand per metric type across Instagram, Twitter and Vine) shows that Guinness has the 8th highest engagement level of all the beer global and country accounts it tracks.
We have spoken about engagement with many delegates that have attended our social media roundtable events over the years. It is not only the key metric in our view but the only one, who’s listening and who’s talking back. We use KLOUT as a benchmark.
Back to Guinness, they are looking to climb six places up the global beer brand ladder and that equates on current revenues to adding just over $10 billion dollars in sales. Can they, do it?
Guinness is good for you, at least that’s what their advertising told us, and the interesting thing is that many of us remember that. Guinness was founded in 1759 and for over 250 years Guinness ads are almost always good and almost always memorable.
In most channels adopted over the past 250 years Guinness have excelled, posters, press, radio, tv and digital. So, who’s to say they can’t apply elements from that advertising gene pool and accelerate brand engagement through social and digital channels.
Climbing mountains in drinks marketing to increase market share has been done in the past. John Scully, now probably more well known as an ex CEO of Apple, was the architect behind Pepsi marketing and the Pepsi challenge campaign during the cola wars. Pepsi did, albeit only for a while overtake Coca Cola, the impossible was achieved.
Taking Guinness to being the biggest beer brand in the world, especially given the rise of Chinese beer brands is a similar challenge to what Pepsi faced. But given their marketing heritage they might just do it.
The marketing team behind Guinness can’t expect to get to the summit without a few setbacks, they may have to get used to watching one of their own TV ads, and adopt the idea of getting back up and trying again, and again, and again.
But, just maybe ‘good things come to those who wait’.