Brand: Stolichnaya Vodka
Execution: TV, Print
Link: Click Here
Target: Vodka drinkers
Various ordinary people in their homes find that everything is suddenly covered by a layer of frost. Ends with product shot and “Best Chilled” emblem.
This is an intriguing spot. There is no dialogue and we have to discover each situation through the eyes of the character. The photography is excellent and the characters are interesting.
The first problem is that you spend virtually the entire spot wondering what the brand is before the short payoff at the end for Stoli. Because it is a clever spot, the assumption is that this end-branding will be more memorable since we have to wait and wonder for 30 seconds. That’s wishful thinking with a field as crowded as spirits.
And that’s just the little problem. The big, glaring issue with this ad is in the brand positioning. “Stolichnaya wants to own cold,” Todd Wasserman writes for Yahoo/Adweek.com and he’s right: this spot is about owning COLD. Can Stoli really own cold? It’s not a bad idea. It’s not the direction Absolut or Grey Goose has taken. But there’s something here bothering me. Could it be that there is another Russian Vodka brand with an “S” name that’s doing the same thing? Check out this Smirnoff spot from the superbowl. It sure looks like Smirnoff just invested a hell of a lot of money to own ‘cold’ for Smirnoff ice. So what if it’s for the ‘malt beverage’? It’s still Russian, still is known for Vodka and still starts with an “S.”
This spot is a disaster for both Stoli and Smirnoff. So bad, in fact, that you almost have to wonder if someone bribed Stoli to bring down Smirnoff’s brand valuation and make the company a better acquisition target.
Branding Bottom Line -
What were they thinking? Does nobody at Stolichnaya watch television? A disaster for Stoli and for Smirnoff. I’ll go to sleep tonight with visions of cold Ssses swirling in my head.