Guinness Import, which acquired rights to the Jamaican brew in 1996, plans to run the promotion in conjunction with a new print, radio and outdoor campaign tagged "Soak it up."
North Castle Partners, Stamford, Conn., handles.
`TO WORK CLUBS'
"They're flying DJs into the U.S. to work clubs," an industry executive said. Guinness Import "is looking at cornering the West Indian market [in the U.S.] and trickling into the mainstream."
Guinness Import, which did not return calls for comment, has become more aggressive in marketing its brands, highlighted by a new TV campaign from Weiss, Whitten, Stagliano, New York, for its flagship brand. The company spent $13.8 million on measured media for its brands last year -- chiefly Guinness stout, Bass ale and Harp lager, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
BIG SALES GAINS
The support has been rewarded with big sales gains. Guinness stout leaped 23.2% to 7 million cases and Bass climbed 12% to 5.6 million cases, according to Impact.
Red Stripe also posted double-digit growth to more than 800,000 cases, according to Impact, even with only $9,000 in measured ad support last year. This year's marketing support could hit the low millions.
RASTAFARIANS IN OUTDOOR
Print and outdoor creative will feature collages of Jamaican life -- everything from landscapes to Rastafarians -- to form the bottle. Radio ads will feature Jamaican DJs.
Guinness Import also is burnishing Czech Republic import Pilsner Urquell, which grew to nearly 700,000 cases in 1997, according to Impact.
The importer has overhauled packaging, will be conducting tastings and is pondering ad support, also to be via North Castle.