Smirnoff shows its casual cocktail credentials

Who: Diageo Canada (Smirnoff), with Juliet for creative.

What: “Created for Cocktails,” a festive campaign for the vodka brand.

When & Where: The English and French campaign launched this week running across TV and online video (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest).

Why: Mark Phillips, Diageo’s director of marketing, said the campaign is encouraging Smirnoff drinkers to experiment and create cocktails by tapping into their own creativity. It’s about making cocktail creation “more fun, accessible and stress-free” so they can focus on spending more time together, he said.

How: The video ads tap into cocktail culture, positioning Smirnoff as an unfussy brand whose drinkers don’t have to feel burdened by making drinks that don’t look like the picture-perfect cocktails found in mixology books or online, and versatile enough to accommodate a wide variety of ingredients.

Both spots feature a Smirnoff spokesperson who does her best to help consumers overcome their relative inexperience with cocktails. In “Burn,” she says that Smirnoff operates under the philosophy that when it comes to creating cocktails, the best rule is having no rules. The spot then cuts to a woman lamenting the fact that her cocktail bears no resemblance to the one in the book, leading the Smirnoff representative to start a chant: “Burn. The. Picture.”

In a second spot entitled “Kitchen,” she informs a man hosting a party that anything that can be found in a fridge can be used in a cocktail—including ginger, pigs in a blanket, even gherkins (which the man mistakenly calls “jerkins”).

Smirnoff wanted a campaign to remind consumers that cocktail-making should be “effortless and judgement free,” said Noel Haan, Juliet’s creative director. “We came up with the ‘Created for Cocktails’ campaign to do just that, a way to connect their core audience in a more relatable and meaningful way, and a campaign that would drive brand love with a new generation of drinkers.”

And we quote: “Smirnoff has always been a brand for the people and the original cocktail creator. We are encouraging consumers to experiment and create cocktails by tapping into their own creativity with our latest ‘Created For Cocktails” campaign,'” said Phillips.

Chris Powell