SKYY Vodka unveiled its new 360-degree marketing platform yesterday - "West of Expected." Introduced in 1992 in the iconic cobalt-blue bottle, the campaign developed by Venables Bell & Partners rethinks nightlife conventions with a fresh and irresistible voice.
SKYY has always challenged convention and taken a fresh perspective. In this vein, SKYY's "West of Expected" platform centres on the notion that anything can be made better with fresh thinking, and is presented with clever tongue-in-cheek wit, ensuring that it never takes itself too seriously.
"In 1992, SKYY was born in San Francisco with the belief that everything can be made better with a little fresh thinking. It's how we created our vodka and the way we see the world," said Kathleen Schuart, Senior Marketing Director, White Spirits and Cordials, Campari America. "It's with this spirit that SKYY's new marketing platform is inviting us to take an optimistic view and reimagine the world around us. We are kicking off our campaign by challenging our thinking around the givens in our social lives, interactions and experiences, in a fun and clever way."
SKYY partnered with internationally recognised independent San Francisco advertising agency, Venables Bell & Partners, to help reimagine the brand's image and capture the irreverent and rule-breaking essence of SKYY's roots. The agency is best known for creating award-winning challenger-approach campaigns for brands like Audi of America, Google, eBay and Intel. Most recently, Cannes Lions awarded Venables Bell & Partners for its Intel "Look Inside" film series, which highlights making the impossible, possible.
"SKYY was invented in California, an unexpected place to conceive a vodka and is created in unexpected ways, like an innovative filtration process using real California limestone," said Will McGinness, Executive Creative Director, Venables Bell & Partners. "So it was important to create a campaign that was equally original, not following any traditional liquor advertising clichés. We think today's consumers have seen enough perfect-people-laughing-while-holding-martini-glasses-in-spirits advertising. It is time for something different."
The witty TV spots, directed by Mike Maguire of Biscuit Filmworks, are on a set inspired by a galaxy where an eccentric host delivers lessons on the universe -- only rather than explaining the cosmic significance of a star cluster, these lessons illuminate how to make one's evening better with a little fresh thinking as told by the host and a troop of surreal camouflaged choreographed stagehands with a series of peculiar props.
In the first episode of the series, "Attraction," the host explores the nature of attraction in the universe using an apple and an orange. Only the audience quickly comes to realize that he's really using the fruit to explore the cosmic importance of a wingman when going out -- or, in this case, a "wing-lemon." The out-of-home campaign continues the same witty and unexpected perspective with taglines like, "Vodka so filtered, we even took the Russia out of it" and "No artificial traditions added." One cheeky execution reminds bar patrons, "Your bartender has a name. It's not hey."
SKYY will be bringing the same "West of Expected" mentality to its fully integrated marketing campaign and will build programs that are continually evolving, encourage conversation and appeal to a new generation of vodka drinkers. The summer's highlights include:
SKYY's new LGBT program, Toast to Marriage, is designed to draw together communities to help increase visibility and raise funds for Freedom to Marry, the sole national organization dedicated to winning marriage for all nationwide.
In the on-premise, SKYY is focused on connecting with consumers by creating innovative nightlife experiences. SKYY recently partnered with Boiler Room TV, the leading music platform in underground music, to launch SKYY Stream, one-of-a-kind HD quality live DJ shows that deliver a nightlife experience like no other directly to consumers through social media.
Available on premise from July - September, SKYY is breaking the rules on packaging again, releasing a first-of-its-kind limited-edition bottle uniquely designed for bottle service, SKYY ELECTRIFYY, which features a graphic LED label that moves to the beat of the music.
The "West of Expected" TV campaign will be unveiled on July 9 nationwide and will appear on television across America and in online executions. Media includes ESPN, FX, AMC, IFC, Bravo, Comedy Central, Logo, TBS, TNT, NBC and VH1. Digital includes Hulu, YouTube, Urban Daddy and Vice. Out-of-home will appear in key markets including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, Milwaukee, Dallas, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, New Jersey and Boston.
"West of Expected" will continue with more breakthrough 360-degree programming to come throughout 2014 and 2015.