For many years, vodka brands have tried to differentiate themselves based on various quality claims, with exclusivity at the heart of the strategy.
As the country's No. 1 vodka brand with roughly 20% of the market, Smirnoff isn't ideally positioned to make an exclusivity pitch, even if it wanted to follow in that now-well-worn category tradition.
Last year, 72andSunny New York, in its first work as Smirnoff's creative agency of record, took a reverse tack. The brand's "Exclusively for Everyone" campaign, launched with TV spots featuring actors Adam Scott and Alison Brie (of "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" fame, respectively), seeks to appeal to Millennials' inclusive and ironic proclivities by mocking other vodka brands' pretentious, esoteric origin and distilling claims and "exclusive," hip events.
The campaign, focused on the premise that "good times are more fun when everyone is included," incorporates a quality message, but in more egalitarian fashion ("just really good vodka").
Now, the brand has introduced a new broadcast and online video series, starring actors/comedians T.J. Miller and Thomas Middleditch, of HBO's "Silicon Valley."
The series, appearing on YouTube as well as the brand's site and social channels, follows the pair's adventures during a 3,098-mile road trip from Los Angeles to New York Comic Con. At Comic Con, they plan to pitch an idea for a movie featuring unconventional (average-looking, non-muscular) superheroes dubbed "Emo Boy" and "Goldperson." Their experiences along the way include a comedy club, a farm-to-table restaurant, a house party and a safe (designated-driver) car-sharing ride.
Following a teaser video posted on Oct. 5, Miller and Middleditch shared about their trip on social media, and made a live appearance at New York Comic Con, using bullhorns to blast their "everyone is a superhero" manifesto.
The brand also threw a party at the event featuring everyday superhero types and Moscow Mules (a cocktail that, at least according to a server encountered during the road trip, was "invented with Smirnoff, in Los Angeles").