Let’s Start Here

Posted on July 2, 2007

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I received the ???Tea Partay??? YouTube video dozens of times from friends around the country.  According to YouTube, I???m not the only one ??? the video has been viewed more than 3 million times over the past 10 months and it???s even spawned spoofs on top of what was already a spoof.  Amazing.

In fact, this video is one of the reasons I decided it was time to take a closer look at marketing campaigns ???gone right;??? and although it???s been nearly a year since the first time I saw it, it still makes me laugh out loud.  Here???s where we get into an argument about what it means to ???get it right.???  Millions of viewers (probably most of them in the target audience) watched the clip and passed it along to their friends.  To this day, when I bring it up in conversation, my GenXYZ friends can???t quite put their finger on what the video was meant to promote.  ???Wasn???t it some beer company????  ???No, I???m sure it was vodka??????  Did Smirnoff get it right or could you argue that they blatantly missed the mark?

Smirnoff isn???t the only one capitalizing on the internet for marketing to my demographic.  A recent New York Times article examined a new campaign to introduce Reyka, an Icelandic vodka.  The company has rolled out a new Web site (http://www.reykavodka.com/) aimed at 25 ??? 35 year old would-be vodka drinkers, with the hope that interactive Web marketing will entice more buyers than advertising counterparts on TV or in print.  The company certainly has the medium right, but what???s most interesting to me is that I didn???t hear about the campaign through their intended channels ??? I read about the site in the most traditional outlet I can think of, the Times.

The Reyka Web site also doesn???t make me laugh out loud like the Smirnoff clip, nor does it give me an incentive to pass the link along to my friends.  However, I do remember the name of the company and the Web site provides a strong brand identity ??? something that can???t be duplicated.

Beverage companies have long been grappling with how to reach my coveted demographic ??? I should know, I???ve worked for two of them.  Putting my beverage consumer hat on, I would have to say that the Smirnoff Tea Partay campaign blows Reyka???s attempts out of the water.  This is a space I???ll continue to watch, especially with companies like Anheuser Busch fueling the game with sites like Bud.TV.

  For now, let me say that liquor marketers trying to reach GenXYZ will be more successful if they produce highly interactive or viral campaigns, rather than one that catches the eye of the NYT media reporter but totally misses me.

  Smirnoff ???Tea Partay??? ??? 4.5/5 stars
Reyka Web Site ??? 3.0/5 stars    

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