Victoria and Whitney take us behind the scenes of the CÎROC Pomegranate launch
Hear from Victoria and Whitney on CÎROC’s newest innovation, CÎROC Pomegranate, and their pivotal roles in launching this for loved ones to enjoy together over the festive season.
Feature 17 DEC 2021
From left to right: Victoria David (CÎROC Brand Manager), Whitney Mullen (Senior Innovation Manager)
What has your Diageo experience been like since joining the company?
Victoria: I started my career in HR and moved cross functionally into marketing. Throughout my time in marketing, I’ve been given the opportunity to work on many different brands – Bulleit, Seagram’s 7 and Johnnie Walker – before moving to CÎROC. My favourite thing about Diageo is the people, I am grateful to work with such talented colleagues every day.
Whitney: Before joining Innovation, I worked in Brand Marketing for four years on Captain Morgan and in the Diageo Beer Company on Smirnoff Flavoured Malt Beverages. This experience gave me perspective on how to be a good innovation partner. I love working for a company that truly values different backgrounds and experiences in the people they hire.
Tell us more about your current role at Diageo? What’s the most exciting thing about it?
Victoria: Working on CÎROC has been an incredibly fulfilling experience personally and professionally. CÎROC champions the freedom to celebrate and our team really lives the brand’s purpose – celebrating small and big wins every day. I’m personally extremely proud as a black woman to work on a brand with a rich history of amplifying black voices.
Whitney: On Innovation, I work across our tequila brands: Don Julio, Casamigos, and Deleon, as well as on CÎROC. It’s exciting to work across such different categories and build innovation strategies that address each brand’s unique set of growth opportunities.
Why do what you do at Diageo?
Victoria: Representation is an important part of marketing and I’m motivated by the fact that I’m able to create diverse marketing which supports a range of voices and communities. I’m able to come to work every day feeling supported by my colleagues to express my thoughts, offer my own unique perspectives, and challenge assumptions about the communities I represent.
Whitney: Culture is always evolving and I’m motivated by the constant need to be thinking about our brands next move in order to stay relevant – just as one product or campaign launches, you already need to be thinking about the next.
CÎROC Pomegranate is the brand’s newest innovation. Explain why this came about and what it’s been like behind the scenes.
Victoria: CÎROC collection of vodka flavours deliver double digit growth across the portfolio and remain a key way to recruit new CÎROC buyers. Coming out of the highly successful launch of CÎROC Summer Citrus, the team was very excited to launch this seasonally relevant Limited Time Offer (LTO). I am proud to have been the marketing lead for this launch.
Whitney: Flavour is CÎROC’s superpower. We needed to make sure that this limited time offering would not only deliver on flavour, but also feature a bold, disruptive design that has appeal for longer than a typical holiday sales window. The bottle is beautifully eye-catching and our Research and Development team did an amazing job with the liquid - I know our consumers will really enjoy it.
What’s the most exciting and challenging aspect of launching a new product innovation?
Victoria: CÎROC is all about celebration and we were excited to launch CÎROC Pomegranate during the festive period, a celebratory season of the year. However, we really challenged ourselves to understand what holiday celebrations really mean to a community – more than ever, people are excited to see their loved ones in person. Through our cultural partnerships, branded experiences, and high impact media we were able to position CÎROC Pomegranate as the drink of choice for gatherings with the ones you love.
Innovation allows CÎROC to engage the current and next generation of multicultural consumers across more occasions. By constantly bringing disruptive innovations to market, CÎROC solidifies its position as a culture-forward icon of luxury celebration.
Whitney: Innovation is the growth engine of the company. We are required to wear many hats and are exposed to so many different parts of the business. But nothing is as rewarding as seeing a product you’ve worked on from inception to production in consumers’ hands, on shelves, or behind a bar.
Any career advice for someone looking to join us?
Victoria: There are no stupid questions! Take it from someone who moved from HR to Marketing. There are so many resources available, you just need to ask for help. One of the best things about Diageo is the supportive people.
Whitney: Remember to not take yourself too seriously and to have fun. At the end of the day, we are working on amazing brands that stand for celebration – it’s important to celebrate the small moments just as much as the big ones.