Diageo GB, part of the world’s second largest drinks company, used social media to help seed its Venezeulan…

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Diageo GB, part of the world’s second largest drinks company, used social media to help seed its Venezeulan golden rum, Pampero. The campaign was targeted at independently-minded young males in the city of Leeds – the drink’s first test market in the United Kingdom. In the planning and research phase, Diageo’s public relations consultancy researched the independent bar and lifestyle culture within the city and concluded that the target audience adopted brands quickest if they were also recommended by friends and opinion formers. The agency also discovered that the target group were internet savvy and enjoyed new entertainment experiences. Consequently, a key element of the communications strategy was that the brand should be promoted to consumers through what would appear to be a series of independent events. With this in mind, the public relations consultancy created an event company called Rumba Caracas, which became the public vehicle for the delivery of specific campaign activity. Its website (www.rumbacaracas.co.uk) included a forward events calendar, a community exchange and blog space, as well as an interactive picture galley. As part of a wider word-of-mouth campaign, and to help bring Venezuela’s vibrant and colourful art scene to life, a free graffiti jam was organised in Leeds, showcasing the skills of 25 artists. Working closely with some of the city’s key lifestyle influencers, the event was promoted by Rumba Caracas through its own website and social media. It was held in a series of disused dark arches under Leeds railway station, and local film students were hired to document the graffiti jam and their productions were set to Venezeulan music and seeded onto YouTube, under the auspices of Rumba Caracas and as part of an online viral campaign. As a result of the campaign, Pampero’s outlet listings in the city increased from 10 to 80, while its rate of sale rose by 160 per cent in six months and, after a year, it had exceeded its target rate of sale in each outlet by an average of 25 per cen

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