Reggie Case Study: “Summer By The Batch”

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Reggie Case Study: “Summer By The Batch”

By Michael Applebaum - 09/14/2020

Marketer: Diageo North America

Agency: Arc Worldwide

Reggie Category: Shopper Marketing or Retailer-Specific Marketing Campaigns (Gold)

The summer entertaining season presents unique challenges for spirits makers, including a primary competitive threat from beer, which generates 40% of its annual sales during the summer. Spirits such as tequila, gin, rum and vodka also enjoy a comparable summer sales spike. And that created an opportunity for Diageo to create a breakthrough entertainment solution at a time when beer typically owns the retail floor.

In order to disrupt the shopper’s usual focus on beer during summer hosting occasions, Diageo had to overcome the perception of craft cocktails as “high maintenance.” The brand identified a target audience of “Simple Servers,” a segment of Millennial and Gen X-age hosts who love to entertain at home but feel pressure to deliver a great party experience. While 40% of Simple Servers desired to serve impressive cocktails, motivating their trade-up to spirits from beer depended on convenience because, per Mintel, 62% of summer party decisions are based on ease.

Summer By The Batch taught shoppers a new way to serve cocktails: a pitcher-sized format that serves a group of at least 13 people. All recipes required one full-sized bottle of spirits (750 milliliters or 1.75 liters), making recipes measure-less and shopper baskets easy to build. Each batch encouraged shoppers to personalize the ready-made cocktail with their own ingredients, enhancing the drinks’ freshness and party appeal.

The multi-brand program launched across major national and regional retailers including Walmart, Total Wine & More, ABC, AAFES, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Fred Meyer, Fry’s and Coborn’s. Digital tactics included integration of shoppable batch cocktail recipes on key retailer websites and a partnership with the Drizly alcohol beverage delivery platform. In-store merchandising featured endcaps, freestanding displays and case stackers; recipe-focused neck hangers and take-ones drove loyalty and repurchase.

Summer By The Batch achieved a 14.2% total sales lift versus the summer of 2018, with much greater year-over-year growth by individual Diageo brands including Don Julio (up 60.7%), Crown Royal (55.7%) and Captain Morgan (26.6%). The program secured display placement in nine national and regional retailers in a total of more than 1,000 stores.

Also won Commerce & Shopper Effie Awards in the Seasonal/Event and Omnichannel Shopper Solution categories.

— Michael Applebaum

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