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Digital Strategy New York based digital agency, AKQA, asked us to make Smirnoff relevant to 21-26 year old men

Collaborators: Jessica Collins I Krystal Plomatos I Pankaj Rawat I Rachel Stallworth

Smirnoff was born in Russia - the birthplace of vodka. After appeasing the Russian palette for years, Smirnoff made it to the states in 1930s. Too strong for the American taste this “white whisky” was initially rejected by Americans until Smirnoff launched the “moscow mule”. This was the birth of the cocktail revolution.

Vodka Is Just An Ingredient Over the past 80 years the cocktail revolution has gotten bigger, better and fabulous. Americans have forgotten that vodka can also be had neat. This applies to almost all the brands in the category.

Smirnoff Has Been Emasculated Smirnoff’s brand extensions and its fruity flavors are wildly popular amongst women in United States. Its mild and inoffensive flavor make it a perfect choice for fancy drinks. With Smirnoff’s increasing popularity amongst women, men have distanced themselves from the brand. Smirnoff is now considered a girly drink.


The male drinking palette matures between 21 - 26 years of age as they move from all kinds of cheap drinks to the most premium ones. However, their initial experiences with a brand permanently influences their perceptions of it. To effectively connect with men, Smirnoff needs to give men a masculine way of drinking vodka, while they are still experimenting.



Strategy: Connect With Men By Re(introducing) Authentic Drinking Culture

Smirnoff Authentic Red Smirnoff Authentic Red evolves from Russia - the country of origin of vodka. A drink that is not meant to be guzzled down with mixers but is sipped with food and friends over the course of the evening. A drink that tastes the best, if it is kept stored in freezer making it more viscous. A drink that is best had in little glasses instead of tall and big ones - just like the Russians did.

Idea: A new drink inspired from the original vodka drinking culture

Taking Smirnoff “There” Smirnoff has built its equity as a party drink through its “Be There” campaign. Authentic Red will build on this positioning through tactics that focus on connecting Smirnoff to all the places between here and “there” be it home, online or on phone.

Website Branded merchandise like Authentic Red glasses and Authentic Red book of vodka drinking culture will make Smirnoff a part of the party. These souvenirs will be available online and will be sent on request to men as souvenirs on major celebratory occasions like 21st Birthday, Graduation etc. These occasions have the possibility of ending into a “Be There” night.

Social Media Strategy: Augment his authentic vodka drinking experience


Spreadable Media Given that there is a positive relationship between amount of alcohol consumed and the number of text messages sent we recommended that Smirnoff offered the chance to brand the ‘texts from last night� by using special hashtags and numeric codes. We also replicated this tactic on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter as well as email plugins.Using these hashtags will earn them points that can be used to get more Smirnoff Authentic Red souvenirs.






More Authentic Red Points

authentic Red


Digital Strategy

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