The US legal definition of vodka is a spirit without colour, aroma or taste. This has helped create a category where marketing matters more than product quality. However, consumers around the world have changed. Values were re-calibrated after the crash. A new world has emerged where 'know' is now as or more important than 'show'.
Our opportunity lay in the fact that there were no 'know' brands in the vodka category. Only 'show' ones. And Russian Standard was perfectly positioned because consumers intuitively know that Russia is the spiritual home of vodka. It is where the good, authentic stuff comes from.
At the same time Russian Standard - there's a clue in the name - did not conform to the international product definition. And when consumers tried it, they were surprised and delighted by the product experience and told their friends about their delicious discovery.
Our strategy was to create an issue about the liquid. Vodka As It Should Be is a classic try me / switching campaign. Decoded by consumers as 'if I'm not drinking Russian Standard I'm not drinking the real stuff'.
In four years Russian Standard Vodka has caught, passed and doubled the sales of Absolut in the UK as well as taking lumps out of Smirnoff. Globally sales are up 22 per cent.
"My Agency have been crucial to the growth of Russian Standard Vodka, delivering both exceptional brand positioning work and creative execution. Their 'Vodka As It Should Be' advertising campaign is now a proven equity and sales driver in 20+ key markets globally. Nick and Luke lead their team from the front and have showed strategic consistency, resilience and determination at every stage. And of course they are also great fun to work with!" Jonathan Stordy, Global CEO Russian Standard Vodka.