Fuel for Diageo’s Deal With Facebook: 20% Sales Lift

Diageo CMO Andy Fennell foreshadowed his brand’s new multimillion-dollar advertising deal with Facebook while speaking at Cannes Lions in June.

“Last year, it was cool to be on Facebook,” Fennell said. “This year, it’s only cool if you get it absolutely right.”

On Monday, the beverage brand suggested it was more than getting it right when announcing an upgraded partnership with Facebook. In a prepared statement, Diageo said a recent in-house five-brand study showed that Facebook ads were increasing sales 20 percent. The company – which makes alcoholic products like Smirnoff and Guinness – says its brands have seen Facebook likes/fans increase from a total of 3.5 million to 12 million in the last year.

Facebook has agreed to aid Diageo with consumer engagement efforts while focusing on the markets of New York, London, Amsterdam, Dublin, São Paulo, and Singapore. The social site will work with Diageo’s agencies, such as Profero for Smirnoff, while creating brand campaigns on the social platform. Facebook has also committed to providing metrics to help Diageo define ROI and performance across brands.

Fennell in the statement said, “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.”

Like Fennell, Facebook marketing head Carolyn Everson also spoke at Cannes. At the conference, according to a Facebook spokesperson, the two execs continued their ongoing discussions, helping spawn the partnership revealed yesterday.

Zachary Rodgers contributed.

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