Meet some of the team behind the new PIMM’S Sundowner.

The newly launched PIMM’S Sundowner is now available in Great Britain. We spoke with members of the team behind this innovation to hear about their involvement.

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Louise Pickering, Shopper Marketing Manager

PIMM’S Sundowner is a distinctly fruity aperitif, with juicy ripe raspberries and tart redcurrants, perfectly served with prosecco and soda for a bittersweet refreshing serve.

As Shopper Marketing Manager, I created the consumer facing assets used to launch PIMM’S Sundowner into GB. This involved creating the displays that we activate in Sainsbury’s, to the branded takeovers in key pubs and bars in the UK. The ambition here is to create impactful assets that stand out to shoppers and encourage them to purchase one for themselves.

I have loved working on this project for one of the UK’s best-loved brands. I have had the opportunity to work with a number of internal stakeholders from areas such as innovation, marketing, supply and commercial which has enabled me to gain insight into other functions of the business. I also love the creativity associated with my role and being able to impact how we show up in bars and supermarkets.

Annabel Holroyd, Consumer & Shopper Planning Manager – Baileys, PIMM’S and Belsazar

PIMM’S Sundowner is a delicious new Spritz drink from PIMM’S. It’s perfectly created for evenings spent with friends and loved ones. 

As the Planner, I make sure that the consumer is at the heart of every choice on PIMM’S. This means understanding how people socialise in the early evening, what the right ingredients are, what it should look and taste like. The first thing we did was build a 5-year strategy for PIMM’S.  While PIMM’S is the drink of British summer (both in the sun and in the rain!), when the sun is setting PIMM’S doesn’t feel like the right option. Instead, there was an Aperitivo moment, with a uniquely British flavour, that was starting to emerge. When looking into this occasion we could clearly see the role that a new PIMM’S would play, and this kicked off PIMM’S Sundowner. 

I feel so proud to have worked on PIMM’S Sundowner. PIMM’S is an iconic brand, at the heart of British culture and loved by so many people. This innovation means that more people can enjoy a PIMM’S – both the classic serve mixed with lemonade and now as a PIMM’S Spritz. It’s been hugely rewarding to work with the team to bring this to life.

Nikolaos Kasapantoniou, Innovation Commercialisation Manager

PIMM’S Sundowner is the aperitif of this summer! Raspberry and redcurrant flavours blended perfectly to create a fruity aperitif that is best served as a spritz – equal parts of PIMM’S Sundowner and prosecco and top-up with soda. It has been one of the fastest Innovations launches for Diageo GB; from the concept alignment to showing up on shelf, it took us just over 6-months. This super-fast commercialisation made this project an incredible learning experience.

As an Innovation Commercialisation Manager for Gin and PIMM’S, my role is to set up the ambition and the scale of upcoming innovations, and define the commercial and executional parameters that will make each project a success with our consumers, our customers and for Diageo.

Specifically for this project, my main deliverable was the creation and execution of the plan that captured all the right outlets that PIMM’S Sundowner had to be in and how it would show up there in order for it to be the number one aperitif of this summer.

My role by default involves a lot of stakeholder management but the extra complexity for this project was the pretty tight timelines we were working with to make sure we were ready in time for summer. The biggest learning was getting stakeholders excited and inspired about what we could achieve with this innovation and the fresh opportunities it would unlock for us. This subsequently allowed us to have the right sponsorship and faster decision-making which allowed a “concept to shelf” timing of just over 6 months.

Henrietta Reed, PIMM’S Senior Brand Manager

My role on PIMM’S is to continue in the footsteps of our innovative founder, James Pimm, and ensure that we offer consumers compelling reasons to drink PIMM’S during their catch ups with friends. In building the PIMM’S marketing strategy, we identified an opportunity in the growing ‘early evening’ occasion, where consumers are looking for delicious tasting and visually disruptive spritz serves and we knew that PIMM’S could offer this with PIMM’S Sundowner. Working on PIMM’S Sundowner has been a truly cross functional effort with many people in the business working collaboratively to get the product into consumers and customers hands for this summer. My role in particular has been to ensure that people in GB see and hear about PIMM’S Sundowner, and that when they do, they know what it is, how to drink it and where they can purchase it.

For me personally, working on innovation has been a great way to quickly develop my marketing skills. In launching a new product, you get exposure to pretty much every process there is behind brand building, from consumer research through to activation in store, so it acts as a bit of a pressure cooker on your development. It is also a great way to get exposure and build your network within the business, as launching a new product is only successful if you work effectively with your peers across different functions who you might not work with in your day-to-day brand marketing role. 

Janine Blakeway-Ely, Head of Innovation

Pimm’s Sundowner is a new British Apertif perfect for those afternoon sundown moments to serve with prosecco and soda water, it’s the new way to Spritz!

I work within the European Innovation team and I was the innovation lead on this project, we are the creators of innovation! On this project, myself and my brilliant planner Kate Veale spent time really understanding the consumer, the occasion, the category and the iconic PIMM’S brand to inspire us to create this Sundowner concept. We then work with a great cross functional team of liquid developers, designers, supply managers and agencies to bring this to life. We work on every element and detail – the flavour, what it tastes like, the colour of the liquid, the serve, the name (that’s always the hardest part) and then the design – what it should look like, what colours, what finishes on the bottle etc. Once this is all complete, we then hand over to the GB team to launch.

We worked on this project in a very short time frame and the only way it happened was through the amazing and committed group of people working on Sundowner. Everyone had their own unique role in making PIMM’S Sundowner the brilliant product and launch that it is. For example, our design and graphics manager, Andrew, spent a lot of time with me looking at pack finishes, so much attention to detail was put in to make this perfect. This project was a reminder that the best work comes out of true collaboration and with a team that is as passionate and committed as you are. The pride of seeing it all come together and launch at the end is simply amazing!

Aarti Calvin, Senior Liquid Scientist

PIMM’S Sundowner has a fruity flavour profile of ripe, juicy raspberry and tart redcurrant that are perfectly balanced with bitter-sweet notes. It was designed to be mixed in a spritz serve with prosecco and looks fun and vibrant.

As the liquid developer on this project, my role within this innovation was to create, recommend, and influence the business to implement the ideal liquid. This involved supporting the European innovation team with my technical knowledge and experience on ingredients and flavour trends. I then had the amazing job of bringing the concept to life by combining science with creative flair – the feeling of a gorgeous British sunset in a bottle.

In getting PIMM’S Sundowner to market at pace, I worked closely in collaboration with talented and dynamic cross- functional teams to ensure that the liquid created matches the concept. This also included label design and the commercial production.

I was really excited to have the freedom to innovate a new liquid at pace for the much-loved British brand and was keen to apply my learning on flavours and ingredient trends, perfect serves, and consumer insights on the emerging new Aperitivo occasion. This project was perfect as I am the European Innovation Technical Lead on Gin and Aperitivo.

In the last two years working in the Europe Innovation Technical team, I have had fun creating liquids for Gordon’s Sicilian Lemon and White Peach, I then went on to create Tanqueray 10 Grapefruit and Rosemary for Global Travels, Villa Ascenti Rosa Gin, Smirnoff Mango and Passionfruit Seltzer, Tanqueray Royale and of course now PIMM’S Sundowner – where else would I be able do that?

Diageo has created the perfect environment for me to succeed and my skills are valued. I regard myself as extremely fortunate to have the ability to take these iconic brands forward to new generations and making them relevant for the new generations to enjoy and create memories.

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