Diageo Woos Bartenders with a Shot of Education
Recognizing that its on-premise efforts don’t fly without buy-in from the men and women pouring the drinks, Diageo embarked on a dedicated effort to woo bartenders.
To encourage bar staff to stock—and recommend—brands like Smirnoff and Tanqueray, the Bartender Initiative set out to provide an interactive education on Diageo products through 35 events in top markets.
Event components each highlighted a different brand. Smirnoff Tastemaker Sessions allowed bartenders to preview the latest in film, technology and fashion, mixing in educational info about Smirnoff. Tanqueray’s Most Wanted Bartender featured a skills competition for barkeeps. And the Tanqueray No. 10 & Ciroc SpaTender gave out massages and manicures tied into brand messages—for example, giving hand massages with grape seed oil, a nod to Ciroc being the world’s only vodka made from grapes.
More than 7,500 bartenders attended the program, which was renewed for 2005, and the company reported that recommendations of Diageo products jumped after the events.