Skyy Relaunch Goes To The Movies

Hoping to better align its online presence with its film-centric advertising and events strategies, Skyy Vodka yesterday relaunched www.skyy.com.

With its lounge-y, cinematic feel, the site promotes what Skyy likes to call "the cocktail lifestyle." It features a jukebox of sorts (visitors can choose from among 15 musical selections), an entertainment section that will house work by artists like Tim Biskup, and a short-film viewing area. There are tips about how to create a "Skyy Lounge" of one's own as well as details about the ongoing Skyy Short Film Project, a contest challenging young filmmakers to create their own short film.

In other words, it's not your usual mishmash of product info and investor-relations contacts. Even the drink recipes are presented in a way that's more Food Network than The Betty Crocker Cookbook.

"Our brand has been based around film-related activities for some time now," says Skyy public relations manager Sue Hearn. "Given the technology that's out there at this point, the web is one of the best vehicles to communicate that brand identity to consumers." The site makes extensive use of the new Flash 6 technology.

Skyy's preoccupation with the world of independent film dates back several years. The company's founder is a long-time sponsor of the San Francisco Film Festival, and all brand promotional activities have attempted to forge a connection with the Hollywood lifestyle - think cocktails, high fashion and oh-so-witty repartee.

Until the relaunch, however, the Skyy site had predominantly featured animation and other conventional web marketing tchotchkes. "What we have now is a cinematic experience in itself," Hearn says. "There's also more of a connection visually with our print ads."

The web strategy certainly makes sense, especially given Skyy's regular promotional activities (dubbed "sampling events" by the company) at the Sundance Film Festival, the San Francisco Film Festival and other cineast get-togethers. These activities are likely to continue in the short- and long-term future, as Skyy attempts to forge a consumer brand on par with those of "white goods" liquor market competitors like Absolut Vodka.

"Independent film is a perfect fit with what we consider to be our brand attributes," Hearn says. "It's pure, it's smart, it's cool. It's what we are."

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