Multinational corporation Diageo, the world’s largest producer of alcoholic beverages, is digging into native advertising possibilities. The London-based firm, whose brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Baileys, Guinness, and many more, has partnered with The Guardian’s branded content team to develop and host ads designed around the publisher’s most popular lifestyle features.
“The drinks maker is piloting a tool that identifies in real-time potential ideas from posts on the Guardian’s Life & Style and Culture sections,” according to The Drum. “Content, which is written in-house by Guardian Labs, is signposted “brought to you by Baileys” and produced using insights including where readers are coming from by platform and geographical location alongside how they engage with the posts.”
Aimed at marrying reactive editorial content into the site, the strategy is designed to speedily work its native advertising magic. It also dovetails with the company’s larger strategy, in which Diageo hopes to find highly effective modes of spending media budgets focused on shoppable online avenues and ecommerce sites.
The Baileys content plays on a women-as-friends meme currently being used as the theme of the renowned brand’s new ad campaign.
Company execs are extremely upbeat; in fact, Isabel Massey, head of media and futures at Diageo Western Europe, called the project “groundbreaking.”
“The pilot fits perfectly with our media strategy for Baileys – taking an editorial mind-set, giving readers high attention brand content, quicker than ever and focusing on what the reader wants to see,” Massey explained. “Baileys has always been an innovative brand, as the first ever spirit to blend whiskey and cream, and it’s great that we can reflect this in our media partnerships.”
Despite persistent quibbles about both the effectiveness and analytics of native advertising, major brands are jumping on the bandwagon. Diageo is just one of many companies looking to use it to promote their products.