Russian Standard Promo, Case study DO YOU SPEAK VODKA? by MEC Brussels

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Industry Vodka
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Belgium
Agency MEC Brussels
Released July 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Ambient Media: Large Scale
Date of First Appearance: Jul 1 2010
Entrant Company: MEC BELGIUM , Brussels, BELGIUM
Media placement: Magazien - 1/1page - Petit Chatelain & Terrasse - 01/07/2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Most people around the world say “Absolut” or “Smirnoff” for vodka; we got people to say “RUSSIAN STANDARD”, with less money…
We had to reach a demanding, already over-addressed, jet-set consumer in an engaging and outstanding way.

So we turned what was initially considered as the main barrier for the brand into a key differentiation element for impact, i.e. the difficulty to pronounce and remember its name – “RUSSIAN STANDARD”– because it uses Cyrillic characters on the label.

We created the “Do you speak vodka? Teaching Box” – the first vodka sampling machine driven by voice recognition. The audience had to listen to a sentence and repeat it with exactly the same Russian accent. If you matched – EUREKA! – you spoke Vodka and won a sample. If not, you had to practice more but still received a promotional voucher.

Creative Execution
We brought the teaching boxes to trendy locations in key Belgian cities (Brussels, Antwerp) where our consumers go in the summer, such as pubs, bars, terraces, restaurants and events.

The action was completely guerrilla planned to create surprise and sensation.

The box arrived in a fully branded truck at the location; Russian models promoted the cause and started to approach people passing with the “Do you speak vodka?” test. They helped them to pronounce the Russian sentence, get their sample and voucher for a future purchase.

The action was also supported by a local lifestyle magazine and generated a lot of word of mouth and free press coverage.

Results and Effectiveness
Enthusiastic reactions at the scene, with people eagerly waiting to participate and fantastic word of mouth whilst queuing.

+70,000 indirect contacts (+/-3,000 x 24 days);
18,000 direct contacts (vouchers);
12,500 direct contacts (participants);
3,435 samples;

Significant increase in off trade distribution and sales thanks to the integrated field and POS marketing efforts:
- N°3 in distribution now, even before Absolut!
- 25% market share reached within the premium vodka segment

The client is so pleased with the results that the concept has now been extended to other countries across Europe (The Netherlands, Poland and Germany).