CLEARLY A WORLD FIRST
The latest advertising campaign from Smirnoff is about to challenge the definition of outdoor billboard advertising with
a totally transparent installation made of clear acrylic. It has been hailed as “a world first in outdoor advertising”
by the Saatchi & Saatchi team that developed it.
The new Smirnoff billboards are giant, illuminated, clear acrylic signs with very simple graphics and a clever headline.
“Let’s make one thing perfectly clear” appears on the transparent surface with a Smirnoff bottle punctuating the
statement. The headline is a designed to communicate the purity of Smirnoff vodka. The creative device - utilising clear
materials - reinforces this.
Smirnoff brand manager, Justine Aitchison says she is extremely excited by the originality of the campaign and believes
it will inspire the same reaction from New Zealand vodka lovers. “Smirnoff has an international reputation for
continually pushing out the boundaries of innovation and technology. We’re delighted that good old Kiwi ingenuity has
created something so completely different. It fits perfectly with the core values of the Smirnoff brand – clarity,
purity and quality”.
This “off the wall” Smirnoff campaign was the brainchild of Saatchi & Saatchi creative team Damon O’Leary, Basil Christensen and John McCabe. Their objective was to emphasise the
triple-distilled purity and clarity of Smirnoff in a dramatic and compelling way. Account Director Michael Redwood says
the campaign is outstanding in many respects – for its creative concept, the unique use of the outdoor medium, degree of
difficulty, and its very strong brand effectiveness. “It’s a great idea, big enough for a brand of Smirnoff’s stature,
and a really innovative use of the billboard medium that we believe will be a major talking point”.
The New Zealand campaign has met with instant favour from Smirnoff international brand owners UDV. Mike Brougham,
Smirnoff UDV General Manager NZ, says he is impressed with the brilliant creative, the inventive Kiwi approach and its
relevance for the world’s leading vodka brand. He is currently considering using the campaign in other international
markets. “This concept is very transferable – it’s got great attitude, it’s of international quality, has a great fit
with the Smirnoff brand image world-wide and has never been done before!”
Whilst the advertising message is clear and simple, the construction and installation of the Smirnoff campaign has been
nothing short of an engineering feat. Production Specialist Richard Hollingum was contracted by Saatchi & Saatchi to oversee the design and construction of all stages of the project. Each billboard measures 6.15 metres in
length, 2.285 metres wide and perches 2.5 metres above the ground. With a frame made of steel, the billboard surface
constructed of five chemically bonded clear acrylic sheets and legs that extend 2.5 metres above the ground, the total
billboard weight adds to over one tonne.
Smirnoff has secured two high profile, high traffic sites for the new campaign in Auckland – at the intersection of
Nelson Street and Victoria St West, and the corner of Parnell Rise and Garfield Street. In Wellington, the installation
will be in the heart of Courtney Place. Cantabrians will see the Smirnoff billboard in Oxford Terrace in early December.
Whilst the selection of most outdoor advertising sites is all about traffic numbers, Saatchi & Saatchi had many new factors to consider in locating the perfect sites for this innovative concept. With a totally
clear billboard, it was important to consider what lay behind. The sites also had to be evaluated for their ability to
meet the project’s engineering and installation challenges. Finally, it was obvious that the sites had to be close to
each city’s most popular watering holes.
Released on behalf of New Zealand Wines & Spirits Ltd (NZWS) by Goode Communication Ltd.