Comfort, utility, service, purpose: How Diageo has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic

Diageo, the spirits manufacturer, has mixed consumer engagement with purposeful marketing as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In mid-March, overnight, 20% of our business disappeared,” reported Ed Pilkington, chief marketing and innovation officer for North America at Diageo, the alcoholic drinks manufacturer.“And we had to adapt pretty quickly.”

That volume represented the sales from the bars and restaurants that were shuttered as the novel coronavirus became a major facet of American life.

In thinking about these issues, the company could look at a bit of recent history. During the financial crises of 2000 and 2008, analyses demonstrated that spirits outperformed wine and beer.

WARC subscribers can sign in to keep reading

Not a subscriber?

WARC helps you to plan, create and deliver more effective marketing

  • Prove your case and back-up your idea

  • Get expert guidance on strategic challenges

  • Tackle current and emerging marketing themes

WARC consistently delivers valuable insights that help to make me look like an expert in front of my colleagues and clients.

Dasha Boryso
Strategy Partner, Fetch

You’re in good company

We work with 80% of Forbes' most valuable brands* and 80% of the world's top top-of-the-class agencies.

* Top 10 brands