Clear Ink Readies Inaugural Push for Vodka Brand

Clear Ink, a Northern California shop that has primarily worked with technology clients, is treading new ground with advertising for a Nordic vodka.

The campaign promotes Christiania Vodka, a spirit created by Nordic Beverages of Oslo, Norway. Spending is $2 million.

The product was introduced recently in New York and will roll out in a dozen U.S. markets this year. It will be sold in Europe beginning in 2002.

“Clear Ink has earned a reputation for an multiplatformed, long-range approach, and this is why [they] were selected,” said Christiania general manager Berit Hafstad. “We are confident that their efforts will be integral to our success.”

The first print ad features a Christiania bottle flanked by thorny stems. The implication is that the company’s vodka is smoother than its competitors’. There are several variations on the ad, creatives said.

The campaign will break in a number of states, including New York, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas, said agency executives. The campaign will claim that Christiania is the world’s smoothest vodka.

“The entire project has been pointed toward ‘The world’s smoothest vodka,’ ” said Bruce Campbell, agency president and chief creative officer. Research, he said, told creatives that vodka drinkers craved a smooth beverage.

According to the distillery, the vodka is made from spring water and potatoes grown on Norwegian farms. The distiller says the vodka is “six times column distilled,” which gives it a distinct flavor.

The Clear Ink team is also comprised of senior vice president, managing director Bob Sproul and account executive Shannon Doyle.

The agency, based in Walnut Creek, Calif., has also worked with Advantix, Apple Computer, Novell, Pacific Bell, PeopleSoft, Quantum, Wells Fargo and WineShopper.com.

The shop recently won a review for the $5 million Jelly Belly jelly bean business.