Smirnoff Steps Up Global Marketing

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Smirnoff is hoping big-ticket marketing will shake off the “Icing Bros” meme that, mercifully, appears to have died down.

The world’s best-selling vodka’s global marketing campaign, the Nightlife Exchange Project, is a year-long event now underway in 14 countries. It culminates on Nov. 27th, when a cultural curator for each country will host an event featuring the best of another country’s nightlife (music, food, dance moves, fashion, bands and DJ’s) virtually bundled into a crate whose contents were voted on by locals.

In India, for example, attendees at a series of Smirnoff-sponsored parties in Kolkata, Pune, Indore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai can nominate what they believe should go into India’s crate before it gets shipped to another locale. Besides India, other participants include South Africa, Germany, Lebanon, Canada, Ireland, Thailand, Cyprus, Venezuela, and Australia

Smirnoff is also searching for “the hottest DJ in the world,” a search that will be featured in a reality TV series, Master of the Mix, that will air weekly beginning Nov. 3.[more]

The show will pit the world’s “most prominent DJs” against each other in a head-to-head competition hosted by Grammy nominated producer/DJ, Just Blaze, and world renowned DJ, Kid Capri. $250,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded, including a personalized Smirnoff bottle.

David Tapscott, Brand Director for Smirnoff, comments, “Master of the Mix marks the brand’s first venture in reality television and we couldn’t be more thrilled at the opportunity to work with some of the most influential leaders in the music industry. Smirnoff has always been part of the nightlife culture, encouraging responsible partying for years and since we’re working with some of the most influential DJs who control the night, the partnership between the two spaces feels natural to us.”

Besides continuing on its global marketing theme of mixing nightlife and fun, it’s also a carefully planned foray into the African-American market. The show will air on Centric and BET, two U.S. cable channels that specifically appeal to that ethnic audience.

According to Marketing Daily, Smirnoff expects to attract somewhere between 500,000 and a million households per week for the show, which will air twice weekly, once on each channel. Smirnoff will be “fully integrated” into “Masters of the Mix” via product placement and signage.

The move is part of a larger effort on the part of Diageo, Smirnoff’s parent company, to be more inclusive with the brand’s marketing, broadening its appeal to Hispanic, Asian, and GLBT communities in the U.S. — and in hip urban locales around the planet.

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