Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Find Balance...in Vodka?

Hard liquor is back on Madison Ave!  Not literally, as in the days rehabilitated in AMC’s Mad Men, but on client rosters.

As vodka consumption enjoys a certain renaissance in the US, distillers are debuting new labels, flavors, and packages. Have you tried Effen Cucumber? How about Pinnacle Cake or Whipped Cream? Scrumptious! (Tried in the name of research, of course).

While brands jockey for position in the minds of a growing pool of consumers, certain images and slogans stand out.

From the top shelf resounds Kettle One’s “Gentleman, this is Vodka.”

Further down, we find Svedka’s self-proclamation, “Voted #1 of 2033.”

And who doesn’t recognize the iconic, long-standing simplicity of an Absolut ad?

More recently, Belvedere went beyond any specific tagline or look; invoking raw emotion with their unwavering support for Project (RED) and the global fight to eliminate AIDS.

Introducing, Ultimat.

Heard of it? Neither had I. Owned and operated by Patrón Spirits Company, (purveyors of Patrón tequila) Ultimat ditched their previously held “Live Ultimate|ly” campaign for something equally fixed on garnering the attention of affluent drinkers.

Agency: Amalgamated
Find balance. Find Ultimat.

What’s the connection between maintaining a solid work/life balance and this particular brand of vodka? I’m not sure. But with the economy still in a slump and value-based competitors looking to undermine the perceived superiority of “premium brands,” the new campaigns resonate with their intended audience.

The ads are clean and cool. Their message of 'balance' works on both a functional and emotional level.

Ultimat promises a smoother taste; a harmonic balance of wheat, rye, and potato.

The ads breed relate-ability. You deserve Ultimat because, hey - you work hard. Too hard, even.

Ultimat is that one friend who always reminds you to take time off and indulge. And, at $39.99 for 750-milliliters, Ultimat Vodka is the perfect ulta-premium beverage with which to balance time outside the office with family and friends.

Ultimat Vodka is one's reward, self-given for achieving professional acclaim.
(Or at least that’s the impression they want to leave)…

Conspicuously placed at bus and train stops heavily trafficked by the mega-professional, the captivating ads may just be the boost Patrón needs to increase their stake in the domestic vodka market.

Like ‘em? Hate ‘em? Have something to add?
Let’s hear it!

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