Facebook strengthens multi-million dollar Diageo advertising deal

Facebook and Diageo, owner of multiple drinks brands, have strengthened their multi-million dollar advertising partnership.

Diageo, owner of drinks brands including Baileys, Guinness, and Smirnoff, today announced plans to step-up its multi-million dollar partnership with Facebook. The deal shows Palo Alto's desire to form closer ties with marketers.

The two companies want to focus on driving consumer engagement, especially in emerging markets. They will continue working together on their co-created experiments leveraging the full capability of Facebook's platform. Facebook will also provide metrics to help Diageo track performance across its priority brands.

The relationship thus far has seen Diageo enjoy a strong return on advertising investment. Its five key brands in the US (Baileys, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Jose Cuervo Margaritas, and Smirnoff) showed a 20 percent increase in sales as a result of Diageo's brands growing their collective fan base from 3.5 million Likes to 12 million Likes in the past 12 months. In the same time period, Smirnoff managed to become the number one beverage alcohol brand on Facebook worldwide.

As part of the new deal, Facebook will provide strategic consultancy to Diageo's priority brands in its main creation hubs of New York, London, Amsterdam, Dublin, Sao Paulo, and Singapore. The social networking giant will develop consumer participation programmes it considers to be social. Diageo and its roster of agencies will work closely with Facebook teams from concept development, through campaign creation, to execution.

"Facebook has been a natural fit for us from day one," Diageo chief marketing officer Andy Fennell said in a statement. "Working in such close collaboration will allow us to really maximize consumer participation at scale in our campaigns, particularly in emerging markets. We are already seeing real value from our work in this space. Over 950 Diageo marketers around the world have now been trained in Facebook boot camps to build their social media capabilities and we are seeing significant returns on investment across a number of brands. We expect this new way of working to deliver even more commercial value for Diageo."

Fennell is joining Facebook's client council, a 12-member group gives the social networking giant input on advertising and marketing. The client council's first meeting is in New York on October 3.

"Diageo is an ideal partner because we see the world through the same lens – we put people at the center of everything we do," Carolyn Everson, Facebook VP of Global Marketing Solutions, said in a statement. "Working closely together has delivered some amazing results and I'm looking forward to bringing to life some of the great things in the works across several of Diageo's core brands."

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