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SKYY Vodka merges pseudo science and humor as part of the “West of Expected” large-scale effort

SKYY Vodka is rolling out a new marketing campaign, West of Expected, that “rethinks and upgrades the perfect”. The new effort, developed by San Francisco-based agency Venables Bell & Partners, is centered around the idea that nightlife conventions should be rethought with a fresh and bold voice. Transformation and challenging conventions is in the brand’s DNA, but with this SKYY always tries to avoid boring, mentoring approaches—these two distinctive features are reflected in the new effort.

The effort includes a series of tongue-in-cheek spots that merges the pseudo scientific approach with the stylistics of the circus performances to demonstrate nice transformations. For instance, the “Attraction” spot illustrates the nature of attraction in the universe, using an apple and orange as the objects that get gravitated towards each other. It also highlights the importance of a wingman when going out—here, a “wing-lemon” performs this role. In other super short vignettes, the presenter explains the importance of a good toast, tipping the bartender, staying offline while drinking with friends and more.

The TV-spot is airing on the U.S. national TV today, July 9, supported my massive web-promotion across a range of high-profile sites such as Hulu, YouTube, Urban Daddy and Vice, as well as across traditional social media channels. The campaign also encompasses out-of-home ads that feature striking, humorous taglines such as “Vodka so filtered, we even took the Russia out of it,” “No artificial traditions added,” and “Your bartender has a name. It’s not hey.” The campaign will evolve into yet bigger, 360-degree marketing experience in late 2014 and 2015.

“SKYY comes from an unexpected place, California, and they create their product in unexpected ways, like an innovative filtration process using real California limestone,” commented Will McGinness, Executive Creative Director, Venables Bell & Partners. “So it was important to create a campaign that was equally original, not following any traditional liquor advertising clichés. We think today’s consumers have seen enough perfect people laughing while holding martini glasses in spirits advertising. It is time for something different, like how to actually engage with people at bars instead of just looking cool.”

The vodka brand will continue the transformation with the release of a first-of-its-kind limited-edition bottle that is designed for bottle service exclusively. The SKYY ELECTRIFYY bottle features a prominent graphic LED label that moves to the beat of the music in the bar (hello to Ballantine’s).