Diageo Bar Academy:
Helping to Build a Thriving Hospitality Sector That Works For All

The Brief:

Diageo Bar Academy (DBA) is the world’s largest community of bar professionals – providing training, inspiration and a networking digital hub.

DBA celebrates the industry through global multi-channel campaigns, including a multi-platform 12-month content plan that showcased a diverse range of women’s voices and highlighted their expertise; a four week campaign around World Bartender Day; and more.

As the pandemic ended, bar professionals worked hard to make up lost time — driving recovery of the hospitality industry, and going the extra mile to offer guests the best possible experiences.

Through immersive multi-channel campaigns, DBA showed its appreciation and support, providing the opportunity to connect with, recognise, and learn from peers globally; advancing a thriving hospitality sector that works for all; and driving long-term benefit for Diageo brands:

  • Recognising, educating and inspiring
  • Building a global community, representing all ethnicities, genders and backgrounds
  • Exemplifying a diverse industry

Our objectives were reach and community engagement, not short-term commercial results.

We also wanted to drive internal fame for DBA, establishing World Bartender Day in particular as a key marketing opportunity for local brand managers, sales teams, and brand ambassadors.

Strategy and Implementation:

DBA's 12-month plan delivered social media, PR, global and local events – reaching the DBA community across a wide range of on/offline touchpoints; delivering culturally relevant country-specific content across 40+ markets; and encouraging peer-to-peer communities. Highlights included:

International Women’s Day

DBA developed a multi-platform 12-month content plan that showcased a diverse range of women’s voices and highlighted their expertise – providing role models that educated and inspired both female and male audiences, and showed how many women trailblazers there are in the bar industry. (While the target beneficiaries were women, the content was designed to be inclusive and non-alienating for all genders).

The content was delivered across a range of digital formats, including articles, social videos, live interactive masterclasses, and podcasts. To complement these channels, DBA also developed women-only training and mentorship sessions that gave more opportunities to enter the profession and thrive.

Global campaign delivery was matched with culturally relevant country-specific programming tailored to mentoring in the context of local culture, addressing the specific issues and obstacles to be overcome, and where appropriate timed to relevant global or local media or marketing hooks.

Our strategy was underpinned by data and research, including:

  • Quantifying the disparities by country.
  • An in-depth understanding of the barriers facing women in the hospitality sector.
  • The positive correlation of diversity with business performance – in this case, more women behind the bar offers business benefits for the venue, a halo effect for Diageo brands, and a broader social benefit within the community.
  • A unique social reel engaged users globally, provoked debate, and highlighted experiences of women in the industry.
  • An exclusive blog featured stories from trailblazing women who are paving the way for greater inclusion in the Spirits sector.

World Bartender Day (4-week campaign)

We wanted bartenders to feel recognised, valued, inspired, and connected with peers globally, evidenced by social and in-person interactions, 1:1 nominations of appreciation for colleagues, and highlighting personal successes. Participation – bartenders immersing themselves online and offline – was key.

59% of our audience use Instagram / 45% use Facebook for inspiration. Using these as primary platforms, we drove reach and an immersive experience.

  • ‘Shake Around the World’ social campaign featuring peer-to-peer nominations – celebrating the colleagues honing their craft and elevating guest experiences.
  • ‘Industry Insiders’ social videos / GIFs / stickers with ‘if you know you know’ jokes, and renowned bartenders answering most searched career questions and encouraging the community to share questions they get asked, driving mass UGC and social voice.
  • ‘Meet in’ physical events worldwide.
  • ‘Happy Hour’ virtual quiz hosted by Julie Reiner, award-winning mixologist and Netflix’s Drinks Masters judge.
  • In a social video, leading bar professionals Minakshi Singh, Chelsie Bailey and Victoria Chow celebrated bartenders worldwide.
  • Final global virtual ‘Happy Hour’ on World Bartender Day.


International Women’s Day

social reel reach
Trailblazing Women blog
time on page
y-o-y increase in female
DBA membership
of females agreed
DBA helped them
progress their career
(up from 60% previous year)

World Bartender Day (4-week campaign)

users reached
average engagement
cities with meet-in events
Virtual Happy Hour
quiz sign-ups

Diageo Bar Academy

20 percentage point increase
in the likelihood of bar professionals recommending Diageo brands
as a result of Diageo Bar Academy


Diageo Bar Academy — Building a Thriving Hospitality Sector

Diageo Bar Academy, the world’s largest community of bar professionals, celebrates the industry through global multi-channel campaigns – bring together hundreds of thousands in real life, and millions online, to help build a thriving hospitality sector that works for all.

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