- Diageo brand Smirnoff is teaming up with actors Jenna Fischer and Ted Danson to announce that its base vodka, Smirnoff No. 21, is now made with non-GMO grain, according to a news release provided to Marketing Dive. The effort is an extension of its recent "Welcome to the Fun%" campaign.
- Brand partner and "Queer Eye" star Jonathan Van Ness attended a launch party for the new vodka in New York City, with non-GMO and gluten-free cocktails and food, "Instagrammable moments" and a pop-up corn maze. Smirnoff will also be debuting out-of-home (OOH) ads in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, along with social media content featuring chef Amanda Freitag, Instagram and YouTube star Toddy Smith, fashion designer Gabi Gregg and reality TV star Alyssa Edwards.
- Smirnoff will also unveil a new packaging design that pays homage to the brand's heritage and integrates modern characteristics like a sleek, bold look to help the bottles stand out on shelves. The look will feature neck labels touting the brand's new non-GMO status, of which Smirnoff says will not raise the vodka's price.
Smirnoff continues its "Welcome to the Fun%" messaging of inclusivity and affordability with its latest marketing push. Now, the vodka brand touts how it won't raise prices to account for the non-GMO status, calling this an "OMG moment" and promoting it with a cross-channel campaign that includes celebrity endorsements, influencers, an experiential element and OOH ads to grab the attention of ad-fatigued consumers.
By making its base vodka non-GMO, Smirnoff aims to tap into the growing market of better-for-you alcoholic beverages, which consumers increasingly demand as they seek healthier lifestyles. The products are especially popular with women and younger drinkers, who are consuming more alcohol and choosing spirits over beer and wine. Millennials tend to care more about where their food comes from than older generations, with more than 60% saying they expect non-GMO food options, compared to 46% of general consumers, according to Maru/Matchbox research.
Earlier this year, another Diageo brand introduced Ketel One Botanical, featuring less alcohol, naturally infused fruits and botanicals, fewer calories and no added sugar, artificial flavors or sweeteners. To promote the new drink, the brand developed "Girls' Night In," a self-care-focused campaign encouraging women to unwind from everyday stresses and enjoy time at home with friends over cocktails.
While Smirnoff's new campaign includes many of the same elements and personalities as the first iteration of "Welcome to the Fun%," spotlighting Jonathan Van Ness is noteworthy, as the brand continues to actively target LGBTQ consumers. This segment is often overlooked by brands, as 53% of marketers devote 4% or less of their marketing campaigns to LGBTQ consumers each year, according to digital lifestyle magazine INTO and Brand Innovators.
Along with targeting LGBTQ consumers, Smirnoff has made raising awareness around gender bias in music the key objective of its "Equalizing Music" campaign it ran last summer through a Spotify effort. The brand's Spotify API drove 630 million impressions with 90% earned.