Smirnoff is going on the attack against what it calls its "fake crafty" competitors -- and the brand has signed up Chrissy Teigen to deliver its punches.
The supermodel and social media star is featured in new ads that appear to take shots at upstart competitors such as Tito's Vodka, whose sales have surged thanks in part to its marketing positioning as a "handmade vodka" produced in "old-fashioned pot stills." Diageo-owned Smirnoff is combating those claims by plugging its affordability and anti-snobbery credentials. The campaign is by 72andSunny New York.
One spot shows Ms. Teigen rubbing herself with handmade body butter only to discover that "this stuff is just butter, like for your toast, with a fake handmade label," according to a version of the spot previewed by Ad Age that is still being finalized. The voiceover then says, "Sound familiar?" making a not-so-subtle comparison to vodkas with similar labeling. "Smirnoff could get all fake crafty on you too, but they don't," the spot declares. Another ad (above), which shows Teigen devouring a burrito, touts the brand's affordability suggesting the brand has resisted the urge to "get all pricey." Mike Warzin directed the ads, via Arts & Sciences.
Smirnoff chose Ms. Teigen to carry its message because "she's relatable, unapologetic and retweetable," Jay Sethi, Diageo's VP of the Smirnoff brand said. "She's just the perfect person to help us start a conversation about what great vodka really is. And we think we are living in a time when people want honesty and want authenticity and there's no person who is more authentic and honest than her."
Smirnoff will try to leverage Ms. Teigen's massive social media following, which includes 4.8 million Twitter followers.
The campaign -- which carries the tagline "Only the Best for Everyone" -- is an evolution of the previous "Exclusively for Everybody" campaign that debuted in 2014 and used humor to mock social exclusivity and pretentiousness that Smirnoff executives said had overtaken the vodka category.
The new campaign will be supported by vodka taste tests, although details of how those will be run are still being finalized, Mr. Sethi said. The approach was in part inspired by a vodka taste test run in 2005 by the New York Times dining section. Smirnoff was the surprise winner, topping the list "ahead of many other names that are no doubt of higher status in stylish bars and lounges," the newspaper reported in a story headlined "A Humble Old Label Ices Its Rivals."
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