Smirnoff Connects with Social Media Influencers
Slick venues. Sophisticated drinks. Unforgettable nights. That’s what Smirnoff Experience was all about, as well as injecting some new life into its Smirnoff 21 Vodka and Smirnoff Ice brands. Both Diageo products had seen better days in terms of consumer awareness until the Smirnoff Experience, with its rockin’ party atmosphere, changed all that. For Smirnoff Ice, events targeted 19- to 24-year old Canadian males who consume beer, rum and vodka; Smirnoff 21 aimed at 24- to 29-year-old male spirits, beer and wine drinkers. The Smirnoff Experience targeted both groups.
To reach them, Smirnoff focused on online influencers, bloggers and musicians who shared the experience with their fan base through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Local promoters leveraged their networks of hip, young males who fit the demo to help sell tickets and drive awareness for the events.
The Experience consisted of four Tier 1 events, executed simultaneously on a single weekend in key cities across Canada. The events then rotated from city to city and were executed three more times over the course of a year, for a total of 16 Tier 1 events. Each event included an internationally recognized artist that complemented
Themes included: Future Now, a retro-futuristic party that fused the technology of tomorrow with the nostalgia of yesterday creating a surreal time warp into a world of fantastical possibility. Electro beats, laser lights and robot chic brought the theme to life. The Warehouse theme was an old school warehouse rave party brought to life via industrial décor, break dancers, music mash-ups, video production and light shows. A House Party theme incorporated skateboard shows, interactive graffiti walls, video game rooms and a hot tub filled with plastic balls where attendees could chill. Carnivale featured a circus theme with dark clowns and contortionists, aerial silk performances and cotton candy. Teaser events at smaller venues in each market complemented the larger event, garnering interest and excitement with smaller components of the central themes, branding and signature drink sampling.
A Smirnoff Canada website, Facebook page and other social media sites amplified the program, while personnel in each city worked with artists, promoters and bloggers to disseminate content from the events online and place ads in key online locations. A street marketing campaign and ads in local newspapers also hyped the events. The results were just what the doctor ordered: 8,000 target consumers were immersed in the Experience over two phases in four Canadian cities, and more than 22 million impressions made. Even better, 80 percent of retailers agreed to purchase Smirnoff in the ensuing four weeks and 76 percent of consumers says they would return to a Smirnoff Experience.