Cannes Lions

Guinness NitroSurge - Surging with Innovation

DIAGEO, Dublin / GUINESS UDV / 2023

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Overview

Background

Amongst the key factors in crafting the perfect pint of draught Guinness, the most challenging is perhaps mastering the pour. Liberating the right quantity and quality of nitrogen bubbles from solution plays a pivotal role in delivering the classic smooth taste and iconic white domed head of Guinness. Historically the preserve of well-equipped bars with complex dispense equipment and staff dedicated to their craft, a large cohort of pub patrons perceived that a home-poured pint could not match in-pub quality, and so do not drink Guinness at-home.

Guinness have previously proven the effectiveness of ultrasonic nitrogen release from solution, but variables influencing surge repeatability has caused results to fall short of pub-quality.

The innovation team was challenged with developing a patentable dispense solution that would repeatably replicate pub-quality Guinness at-home; we had 12 months to succeed and the challenge of the most extreme people movement restrictions in living history.

Idea

Deliver the iconic two-part Guinness pour at home.

Guinness NitroSurge seeks to marry technology with a design-led reimagining of at-home dispense to put the joy of the two-part pour in the hands of the consumer, helping them craft beautiful Guinness time after time.

While the Guinness 'widget' consistently delivers the smooth taste of Guinness at-home, Guinness NitroSurge will be positioned as a premium, enhanced at-home offering that employs a reusable, can-top pouring device to faithfully replicate the iconic surge, settle and domed-head of the pub-poured pint.

Continuing a proud history of breakthroughs in dispense technology, a solution that recreates the pub-pour at home will strengthen the brand's reputation as the world's most innovative and creative beer brand, while the complete pouring experience and incorporation of technology will attract pub-only Guinness drinkers and a new generation of diverse drinkers to place the product across a richer variety of at-home social occasions.

Strategy

Guinness NitroSurge is the most significant breakthrough in at-home dispense since the launch of the legendary Guinness widget over 30 years ago. A year since launch, the pilot market of Ireland had sold enough devices to be in 1 in 5 homes on the island!

Consumers and experts acclaim this a 'game-changer' for stout at home, while Guinness drinkers around the world plead for the product to be launched in their markets.

At £25/€30 the device has proven an affordable outlay for a pint-pour indistinguishable from the pub, with over 5.5x more devices sold than target; 74% of sales are new to Guinness at-home and the beer reached 14% capture of the stout market inside the first year.

The success has catalysed a fivefold increase in future dispense innovation projects, while high ongoing demand for the premium-priced experience has led to a £24m investment in Diageo Belfast's canning line.

Execution

It’s simple: clip a beautifully designed can-top device onto the special can, press the button, and begin the iconic two-part pour

Guinness NitroSurge delivers the complete two-part pouring experience at-home using a rechargeable, ultrasonic device and a special can containing the same great liquid as enjoyed in pubs. The unit is discreetly stylised, gently extending the can's form when effortlessly mounted into position.

A gentle button press activates bursts of low-power, tuned ultrasonics directly into the pouring liquid, creating the eponymous 'surge' of perfectly formed nitrogen bubbles. The pouring liquid flows smoothly out the same tapered, free-flow nozzle used in draught bar-taps. 100 pours are available from a single charge.

The outer casing features distinctive Guinness brand tones and design motifs, including the classic Guinness Harp and ‘Liffey waves’ effected through premium feel materials.

The device was developed during tight CoVid restrictions in a record 12 months agile development programme.

Outcome

Enough devices sold to be in over 1 in 5 Irish households!

Guinness NitroSurge is the biggest innovation to come from Guinness since the widget over 30 years ago!

Diageo Europe’s biggest selling innovation for FY2022, despite only take home sales in 1 pilot territory.

Sell-outs in Ireland and Singapore.

Ireland pilot market data:

Aggregate sales value exceeds ambitious FY2022 goal fivefold;

14% of stout market won;

74% of sales new to Guinness at-home;

54% repeat purchase rate;

A new generation of consumers; +38ppts of 18-34yo; +15ppts female participation.

7.9 million social media reach; 81% sentiment

Indistinguishable from a keg-poured pint (expert panel blind taste test), overcoming engrained belief of pub-loyal subset.

Strengthens reputation as world's most innovative, creative beer brand.

Influencers and consumers alike positively stunned:

"I’m kind of blown away…I’ve not had a better home poured pint than that...5 out of 5….it is a wonderful wonderful thing" [TheCraftBeerChannel]

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