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Booze & Politics

I had a friend send me the below the other day and I literally laughed out loud and then went and followed Smirnoff on all of their social channels. Whatever ad agency came up with it, kudos.

I recently wrote on brand activism and my thoughts on companies engaging in political dialogue. As a small business owner it was an easy decision for me to speak up, however the majority of larger companies tend to shy away or avoid politics like the plague.

Smirnoff, on the other hand, said screw it – let’s do this…and they did. The brilliance of the ad is explained below.

  1. When you are sitting around having a cocktail with colleagues, friends or acquaintances, what most often comes up? That’s right…politics and the state of the world we live in. Alcohol has a way of loosening our tongues and derailing our inhibitions…which leads to very fascinating conversations. A vodka brand, like Smirnoff, saw an opportunity to better connect with their customers while also pushing the envelope in messaging, design and humor.
  2. It’s funny! A brand that doesn’t take itself too serious, sets itself apart. Their ad strategy illustrates that the brand is in tune with current events and the political climate…not to mention their customers.
  3. They know their target audience and they are young, liberal and vocal. They also have a shit load of buying power; it just makes sense to tie your hooch to young people and the liberal causes they champion.

Don’t believe me? Smirnoff’s internal research found that 86 percent responded to the ads positively. I’d say that is a pretty good indicator they hit the nail on the head, wouldn’t you?

In a recent article on SevenFiftyDaily, Robin Robinson, a sales and marketing consultant whose focus is small spirit brands, points out that politics is now permeating our culture in an entirely new way. “When you think of the zeitgeist now, it’s a highly polarized time we live in,” he says. “Everyone is asked to choose sides. I guess it makes perfect sense that alcohol brands would join the fray.” His feeling is that it would be almost disingenuous for a brand not to choose a side—millennial consumers expect them to.

It is, of course, always a gamble for a brand to choose a side…but the choice is no longer yours; consumers demand it.

What do you think?

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Hi, I'm Kim!
Writer of musings.

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