brand and bottle
Posted by Jim Thompson on December 22, 2009 05:16 PM
Hollywood actor Bruce Willis is teaming up with Sobieski to bring vodka drinkers back to reality. The Poland-based brand is on a mission to educate Americans about vodka, and ensure consumers no longer fall prey to fancy ad campaigns that have them paying inflated prices for a product they don’t truly understand.
Sobieski’s website, for example, immediately addresses a widespread misconception about the spirit:
“Poland is the birthplace of vodka. Sorry, Russia.”
When searching for a reliable and plainspoken personality to represent the brand, Bruce Willis was an obvious choice. Chester Brandes, CEO of Imperial Brands, a subsidiary of Belvedere S.A., which owns Sobieski, explained:
“It’s remarkable how much Bruce Willis and Sobieski have in common… We are a brand with nothing to hide, and [have] the confidence (and humor) to talk in simple, straightforward, black-and-white terms about our product. Much like Sobieski, Bruce is authentic, likeable, and doesn’t get caught up in the superficiality.”
Willis will be the face and voice of Sobieski’s “Truth in Vodka” campaign, as his image will appear in ads and the actor – who acquired a 3.3% stake of Belvedere S.A. as compensation for his endorsement – will attend selected events.
Sobieski is the number one premium brand in Poland, and as the Wall Street Journal reports, “focuses on what goes in the bottle – tradition, heritage, authenticity, and taste.” The Starogard Gdanski distillery, where Sobieski is made from Dankowski rye, dates back to 1846. Recently, the brand added two new flavors – Cytron and Vanilia – to its offerings.
The brand eschews packaging that glamorizes the aesthetic of the bottle or marketing that overcompensates for the quality of the vodka being sold – practices Sobieski believes many of its competitors indulge. Sobieski wants consumers to focus on the vodka, not the vodka bottle or vodka commercial.
And the brand posits that Bruce Willis can help it do just that.