Smirnoff redefines the idea of engagement

Stephen Whiteside

Four years ago, Smirnoff was “very comfortable” with digital marketing, according to Oscar Martinez, its global director of consumer planning. From banners to brand activation, Diageo’s vodka line did everything the experts advised and admired at the time. “But the consumer was moving fast,” Martinez said. “We realized that the opportunity was actually to be at the forefront of how the new consumer wanted to connect with brands.”

As storytelling, branded content and co-creation gained traction, so the right path for Smirnoff soon revealed itself. “We needed to change the way we did marketing,” Martinez said. “We understood, and we embraced, the opportunity to really leave a footprint in culture, and to empower and enable marketing and consumer participation, with a clear physical and emotional payoff at the very end.”

Defining engagement