Cheers May 2016

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 11 of 51 12 • May 2016 DRINK CULTURE The way that alcohol brands sponsor events is changing. Much of this refl ects marketing for Millennials. Traditional "in-your-face" advertising turns off this generation. Rather, they prefer campaigns —and products—that are authentic and sharable. Sponsorships have changed accordingly. This change was on display during the Smirnoff Sound Collective in Miami in March. The Sound Collective is an elec- tronic music platform created by the vodka brand in 2014. After touring over- seas for years, the Sound Collective came to Miami Music Week 2016, March 15-20, bringing electronic tunes to the rooftops and basement clubs of South Beach. "The Smirnoff Sound Collective's goal in music is to authentically contribute to the electronic music culture instead of placing logos everywhere at a fes- tival," explains Matt Bruhn, senior vice president Smirnoff Global. True to his vision, the four-day concert was light on advertising and plentiful with performances. Music was the focus ahead of other agendas. For instance, day three featured an all-female DJ lineup—a rarity in elec- tronic or any music scene—but without signifi cant fanfare for the gender theme. "We've been really lucky that Smirnoff worked with us," says Frankie Hutchinson, cofounder of Discwoman, who booked the lineup. "They've opened up the platform for us, for women, for whoever." The four-day concert included performances by Gary Richards (stage name Destructo), a veteran DJ and music executive. "Smirnoff is allowing us to do what we do," he says. "And they're turning people onto the newer stuff. This is the platform to do this." "I see more brands fi guring out how to do cool things," Richards adds. "I think these can be some really good rela- tionships for everyone." AN ELECTRIC LAUNCH The Diageo vodka brand did take the opportunity as spon- sor to showcase its newest product: Smirnoff Ice Electric. A branded extension of the fl avored malt beverage line, Smirnoff Ice, the Ice Electric line of bright-colored drinks with 5% ABV is available in Berry and Mandarin fl avors. Smirnoff Ice Electric comes in four-packs of 16-oz. clear plastic bottles, for a suggested retail price of $8.99; the na- tional rollout kicked off in May. Target consumers are concertgoers—such as those who fl ocked to Miami Music Week. "Smirnoff Ice Electric Flavors were created to be a beverage that would allow these consumers to keep it moving on the dance fl oor without wor- rying about spilling a drop," Bruhn explains. The mobile aspect should generate appeal. Although Millennials are picky when sitting down to a drink, on the move they prefer whatever is convenient. FRESH AND FRUITY The Sound Collective event showcased another new Smirnoff product, Smirnoff Sourced, a line of vodkas made with 10% real fruit juice. Launched in January, the vodka is available in Ruby Red Grapefruit, Cranberry Apple and Pineapple fl avors and retails for about $14 per 750-ml. bottle. Bartenders at the show mixed up several cocktails with the Smirnoff Sourced vodkas, which are gluten-free, and have no high-fructose corn syrup. Since the vodkas contain fruit juice, the company recommends refrigerating after opening the bottles. —KS SMIRNOFF REIMAGINES SPONSORSHIPS, LAUNCHES CONCERT-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS Smirnoff brought its Sound Collective electronic music platform to Miami in March, where it launched Ice Electric. "Smirnoff Ice Electric Flavors were created to be a beverage that would allow consumers to keep it moving on the dance fl oor without worrying about spilling a drop." — Matt Bruhn, senior vice president Smirnoff Global

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