A high-flying launch for Grey Goose VX

How does sipping cognac-infused vodka on a Muskoka chair after a trip in a floatplane sound? With an eye to exclusivity, the spirit maker taps into a new category.
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Grey Goose took to the skies this week to help launch its new category-defying spirit in Canada.

The new vodka-cognac hybrid hits Canadian shelves in September, but Bacardi started the buzz-building for the product by inviting 20 media influencers to a private party on a boathouse in Muskoka, delivering them via floatplane for a tasting session with Grey Goose’s creator and Maître de Chai François Thibault in a PR event led by Narrative PR.

It was a perfect fit with the brand platform for Grey Goose, called “Fly beyond,” which positions the vodka as defying expectations, says Michael Corvese, senior brand manager, vodka, at Bacardi Canada.

“The event needed to be in true Grey Goose style so we challenged [Narrative] to create a memorable and exclusive, luxury experience so it would feel intimate for guests to engage with [Thibault],” Corvese says. “I believe the event really represented our new brand platform.” 

VX, which stands for Vodka Exceptionnelle, is intended as a celebration of the brand’s heritage and Thibault’s history, Corvese says. Grey Goose’s creator was born in Cognac, France, world-renowned for the spirit cognac, and he was a cognac distiller before creating Grey Goose vodka.

But the new blend, which comes in a decanter-shaped bottle, is also forward-looking from the segment leader and significant for the spirits category because it expands vodka across both white and dark spirits categories, Corvese says, showing the brand’s commitment to drive “premiumization” while opening up a new category.

Hence the emphasis on luxury at the Muskoka event, while the next major push for the brand will come in September at Grey Goose-sponsored parties during the Toronto International Film Festival. That will lead into the holiday season, a key time for the new spirit, which has a suggested retail price of $100 and is packaged in a luxury gift box. Print advertising will roll out at that time in lifestyle and trade publications.

“We really see it breaking those boundaries of the traditional competitive set,” Corvese says. “It’s really going to play more in a wider set of luxury spirits for consumers that want exclusive and ultra-premium offerings as part of their portfolio of spirits.”