From ‘Icing’ To Red, White & Berry, Smirnoff Is Winning The Marketing Game This Summer
The Fourth of July is an exciting holiday for Americans to celebrate their independence, deck themselves out in red, white and blue, and just kick back and relax. Companies love to capitalize on this patriotic market and often rollout exclusive red, white and blue products for the holiday. While making the run to the liquor store before the big day, it’s worth an extra look to check out the vodka brand, Smirnoff. Thanks to three successful marketing campaigns, Smirnoff is now a brand to watch in 2018.
This viral trend was popularized by college students but quickly transcended all demographics. The trend is described as a drinking game where individuals are required to chug a whole bottle Smirnoff Ice. Participants became very clever with finding ways to hide the drink, because once the bottle is discovered, the finder must chug it immediately, typically on one knee. The game went viral with videos across all social media platforms featuring people being ‘iced’ at their wedding, in line at TSA or even ice fishing.
Post Malone taking it like a champ pic.twitter.com/iwLgLOtnTe
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) December 1, 2017
This trend has resulted in a massive spike in sales for Diageo PLC, the British parent company of Smirnoff. Serving as a testament to the importance of virality, the fad not only increased sales but also brought the brand to the spotlight among liquor brands.
Smirnoff’s next marketing feat was more humanitarian-based for June’s Pride month. In celebration of Pride, the month-long celebration when the world’s LGBT communities come together, Smirnoff released limited-edition “Love Wins” bottles of their signature Smirnoff no. 12 vodka. Each bottle is unique and features a photo of real couples photographed by Sarah Deragon, the creator of the Identity Project. Additionally, one dollar of every “Love Wins” bottle sale was donated to the Human Rights Campaign.
We’re kicking off our celebration of LGBTQ+ pride month at the historical NYC pride bar with the #LoveWins cocktail. pic.twitter.com/4LfviYtpJ5
— Smirnoff US (@SmirnoffUS) May 19, 2017
Through this marketing campaign, Smirnoff established themselves as a staunch supporter, publicly and financially, of the LGBT community. This surely will lead to more partnerships with LGBT related events and may even make Smirnoff the drink of choice for Pride.
Red, White & Berry
As we find ourselves approaching every patriot’s favorite holiday, Smirnoff has yet another new product to unveil: the red, white & berry flavor. This drink will surely capture the attention of Americans this season in part to it’s patriotic color scheme, as well Smirnoff’s complimentary social media campaign. Americans love to party on the Fourth of July, but the date is inconveniently on Wednesday this year, meaning everyone has to return to work the next day. Therefore, Smirnoff is running a social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram encouraging users to comment how they would spend their 5 day weekend. One hundred winners will be chosen and paid to take the 5th and 6th off from work.
Just in the last year alone, Smirnoff has demonstrated their masterful marketability through capitalization on viral trends, humanitarian involvement and now patriotism. So, if you need us this Fourth of July, we’ll be responsibly enjoying a red white & berry Smirnoff. Cheers!
Gabrielle Meunier is a marketing intern at Flackable, a national public relations and digital marketing agency headquartered in Philadelphia. Follow Gabrielle on Twitter at @gab_meunier.