Stolichnaya Vodka is generating plenty of buzz -- no doubt on social media, as well as in the press -- by having snagged Twitter cofounder Biz Stone as the latest "star" of its Stoli Originals ad campaign.
The first two executions of the Ogilvy & Mather campaign, which launched in late May, used split screens to show Playboy founder Hugh Hefner interviewing himself and a conversation between the "celeb" persona of actress Julia Stiles and her more everyday self.
The ads declare: "The most original people deserve the most original vodka -- Stoli," and seek to get consumers to examine how "authentic" and "interesting" their own lifestyles are by asking: "Would You Have a Drink With You?"
The just-launched Stone versions show his somewhat cooler "Twitter Pioneer" persona and his "Nerd of the Year" side (each clearly labeled) debating the Twitter phenomenon while drinking Stoli in an upscale bar. Nerd Stone: "Has it ever occurred to you that maybe Twitter is just a constant stream of meaningless babble?" Pioneer Stone: "You're not seeing the big picture. Astronauts are tweeting from space ... and the pace of business [has been] changed forever."
In a statement announcing the ads' launch, Stone said he agreed to be featured because he viewed the "fun" script as a way to "do some myth-busting about Twitter." (He also told The Wall Street Journal that the money earned would go to a nonprofit that he and his wife are setting up to support causes such as arts, education, health and the environment.)
As for Stolichnaya, with basically all spirits (and other) brands vying for those precious minutes with social media junkies, could there be a better personality than Stone to generate engagement?
Stoli will build on the buzz by featuring creative from the campaign on Twitter, as well as hosting a virtual cocktail party with interaction via both Twitter (#stolicocktailparty) and its Facebook page.
The brand also recently launched an online casting call through its Facebook page to select the next featured subject for new digital components of its Originals campaign, to launch in 2011. The winner, who will be chosen from among finalists' short videos illustrating their originality and "pioneering spirit," will receive a $25,000 fee, as well as time in the virtual spotlight.