Smirnoff demystifies cocktail-making

The goal is to showcase vodka's versatility and keep people mixing their own drinks as bars re-open.

As Canadians prepare to mingle for the holiday season, Smirnoff wants to be in the mix – and a fair few cocktail glasses.

The brand has launched a new campaign, called “Created for Cocktails,” with creative agency Juliet. The campaign hinges on the simple insight that “consumers from anywhere can make delicious-taking cocktails at home,” says Mark Phillips, director of marketing for Smirnoff’s parent company Diageo.

“This campaign very much focuses on inspiring consumers through the everyday items in their homes, their kitchens and their fridge to not see cocktails as something they should shy away from,” he adds. “If anything, cocktails are a lot more accessible and within reach than they realize.”

This message is particularly important for the brand to communicate in the current context. During the pandemic, consumers were pushed out of their favourite bars and restaurants and many began to experiment with cocktail-mixing at home. Smirnoff wants to keep up that momentum as pandemic restrictions have begun to lift.

The spot zeroes in specifically on the 24 to 35 demographic, Phillips says, because “we see this group as the tastemakers of the future.” The demographic is connected to cocktail trends and culture, and is also very diverse.

But the brand also understands that vodka “is a spirit they gravitate toward, but are looking for more inspiration from.” The “Created for Cocktails” campaign aims to provide some of that inspiration and reignite the spark for vodka by reminding consumers that it can be used in many different ways.

In the spot, Smirnoff delivers this message by having a young man pull a variety of items from his fridge while the ad’s narrator explains how those items could be used in or inspire different cocktail recipes.

By doing so, the brand is hoping to communicate not only that vodka – a category in which it is the largest player – can be flexible, but also “accessible to anyone.”

The campaign launched earlier this month and is airing on TV, digital and social. Further rollouts into PR, experiential and print are planned for early in the new year.