In the United States competition among businesses and brands is the staple of capitalism; with nearly every market being extremely competitive often times advertising and the reputation of one brand is what sets it apart from the others. The alcohol industry is a prime example of a hypercompetitive market that uses print, online, billboard and television advertisements to build a brand image that eventually turns into more sales.
Although I’m not a big fan of vodka and think that it is nothing more than glorified rubbing alcohol I am a fan of Smirnoff’s new advertising campaign that is attempting to reposition the brand’s standing in the alcohol industry. When people think of different kinds of nice vodka Smirnoff is not usually the first brand that comes to mind. Smirnoff is seen as an average vodka that lies somewhere between the nearly undrinkable Burnett’s and Dimitri and the much more expensive Belvedere and Grey Goose.
Smirnoff’s advertising campaign comes at a very interesting time as they are already the #1 vodka in the United States having control over 18.83% dollar share. The #2 brand is Absolut, which controls just over 7% of the dollar share. Smirnoff’s ad campaign entitled “Exclusively for Everyone” makes fun of the newfound perception that drinking nice vodka is the exclusive privilege of wealthy, high-class individuals. With the campaign, Smirnoff hopes to reposition the brand as a high-quality vodka available to the masses.
The campaign, which will be run on television, includes one longer three-minute story advertisement as well as a few shorter 30-second advertisements. The ads feature Alison Brie who stars on NBC’s Community as well as Adam Scott who stars in NBC’s Parks & Rec and is also well known for his role in Step Brothers. This new campaign is the first large television campaign that Smirnoff has run since 2010. Prior to this campaign, they mostly only ran TV advertisements to promote new flavors of Smirnoff as they were released. The rest of the brands advertising over the years has mostly been done through promotional events.
For the campaign Smirnoff has also partnered with the online music-streaming app Spotify and is encouraging people to submit songs for a house party playlist. Smirnoff is offering winners of the contest an “Ultimate House Party” to be thrown in their hometown.
Aside from changing the formulas of their vodkas, Smirnoff is doing everything in their power to promote the brand and reestablish itself as a drink truly available to everyone (who’s of legal age). Whether their efforts will pay off is yet to be seen.