Smirnoff brings out the ‘I’ in its new campaign

Smirnoff seeks to stand out in a market otherwise dominated by whisky and beer brands with its new campaign that seeks to bring out the individuality of its youth TG. The ad has been created by JWT.

by Arwa Sultanali
Published - Nov 21, 2011 10:48 AM Updated: Nov 21, 2011 10:48 AM
Smirnoff brings out the ‘I’ in its new campaign

Smirnoff’s new ad campaign seeks to bring out the individuality of its youth TG. Created by JWT, the first ad – ‘I choose to be a hero’ – launched on November 10, 2011, while the second ad – ‘I choose to scream’ – launched on November 19.

The Challenge:
Diageo India, Smirnoff’s parent company, and creative agency JWT had conducted a research study that indicated that the market was largely dominated by beer and whiskey, which stood at a staggering 70 per cent, while vodka constituted a mere 22 per cent for men.

The target male is aware of Smirnoff and respects it as a quality vodka, but doesn’t find a tug or a connection to drink it. In other words, the brand existed positively, but wasn’t making any statement to him. Therefore, there was a need to have a 360 degree activation to create a reason to drink the vodka brand.

Talking about the challenges, Mayuresh Dubhashi, Creative Supervisor, JWT Mumbai, said, “We wanted to ensure that Smirnoff makes a dent in the otherwise whisky and beer dominated market.”

The campaign:
To make Smirnoff a part of the consideration set, JWT identified the consumer in the age bracket of 25-34 years, earning around Rs 25,000. He would be a target male who is constantly trying to achieve a balance between ‘fitting in’ and ‘standing out’. He strives to build this identity for himself.

Dubhashi added, “There is a quest of building identity, which boils down to a choice. Smirnoff gives them the belief that at the end of the day to choose is, power because life is what happens between choices.”

The communication strategy of the campaign is to use the phrase ‘I Choose’ in a sentence like ‘I choose to be hero’ or ‘I choose to scream’, because it reeks a statement of that particular choice which defines that person.

The platforms:
Abanti Sankaranarayan, Marketing - Head, Diageo India, divulged that the campaign would have 100 insertions across leading dailies and magazine publications in 15 cities.

On the digital end, there is an app which will allow consumers to discover their originality. She said, “The app draws out the choices over the last two years in any form – comments, pictures, etc., in any category. The panorama of choices will be then uploaded on various digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.”

On-ground activities include the Smirnoff Musical Nights, which will take place in December 2011. The event will allow people to listen to their music of choice.

They also have an ‘I choose’ Smirnoff pack, which is part of the on-trade activation (in-bar work) across 800 bars. The pack will present ways of experiencing differentiated cocktails. In the next phase of the campaign, they plan to create banner advertisement via mobiles.

In terms of futures spends for 2012, Sankaranarayan said, “We are significantly investing in all our brands, and Smirnoff is one of the biggest brands in this market.”

The team:
The creative team that worked on the brand included Ram Jayaraman, Sundeep Sehgal, Mayuresh Dubhashi and Vanburn Gonsalves.

Strategy and Planning: Sujay Nanavati
Account Management: Dipika Narayan, Sachin Anand, Ishita Mehar, Kunal Ross and Sanjay Narang

The campaign has been shot by Dubai-based photographer Tejal Patni.


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