The ads were created by Portland, Ore.-based photography artist Martin Waugh, whose métier is drops of water--water captured while falling, splashing and colliding. The resulting images look like solid forms, though they are an instant in the progress of a droplet splashing or separating.
The effort, overseen by JWT's London office, comprises three print ads and an array of print and outdoor executions bearing the theme line "Extraordinary purity in every drop" tagline. The global campaign has launched in London, and will commence in the U.S. this quarter. The ads support Smirnoff's positioning as a vodka filtered 10 times and distilled thrice.
Waugh says the agency found him through his Web site, LiquidSculpture.com. "They saw an image of mine that looks like a wine glass, and they thought they might be able to use water to make glasses," he says, adding that the creative method--using no computer graphic manipulation--mirrors the "purity" theme. "It's all photography and that was one of the great selling points, that it is really pure photography. It's all liquid."
Waugh--who has done work for Treasure Island in Las Vegas, and whose photography has also appeared in Rangefinder Magazine , on the Discovery Channel and was named one of Yahoo's 24 Picks of the Year--says the process was overseen by two art directors from London. Waugh fashioned and photographed splashes in the shape of martini, highball and whiskey glasses.
Diageo last year began boosting Smirnoff--the leading premium spirit brand globally. Efforts included promotions around the film "Casino Royale," as well as a U.K. campaign this summer, and a major North American campaign that bowed last month. The £5 million U.K. campaign this summer included cinema, TV and online, with a "Sea" theme that centered on the sea cleaning itself of debris. Diageo Great Britain also offered consumers the chance to win five-star holidays to the Maldives.
The North American "Signature" campaign told the story of Vladimir Smirnoff, with in-theatre, online and TV ads. There is also an interactive Smirnoff Russian heritage game through Yahoo, and a promotion around a voyage, "Smirnoff Experience," which gives 10 people the chance to retrace the eponymous Smirnoff's journeys through four cities, starting in Moscow late last month.