A Toast From Holland

Holland Mark Edmund Ingalls this month breaks a print-based effort introducing Barton Brands’ Thor’s Hammer vodka in the United States.

Portraying the Swe-dish brand as the “Vodka of the gods,” ads shot in Gotland, Sweden, use humor to get their message across. One execution shows a group of nerdy scientist-types poking around the woods with a three-pronged tree branch “divining rod.”

Copy begins: “Somewhere beneath Sweden lies a lake of such purity that it’s considered the best naturally existing water on earth. Its rich mineral content, combined with the finest wheat and careful distillation, makes our vodka one of the smoothest you can find. Which is good, since you won’t find our water.”

The purity of the water is used because the creative team believed it was “the only way to differentiate a Vodka today” in a crowded marketplace, said Bob Minihan, chief creative officer of Holland Mark in Boston.

Thor’s Hammer uses water from an underground spring lake discovered four years ago in Storskogen, Sweden.

Ads will target the alcoholic beverage trade and consumers, breaking through the fall in publications including The Wall Street Journal,Cheers, MarketWatch and Impact. Initial spending is in the low seven-figures.

Holland Mark is also developing similarly themed posters and promotional pieces; broadcast is not in the mix at the present. The agency was tapped for the assignment based on a recommendation from a mutual friend of Holland Mark chairman Bill Davis and Barton executive vice president of marketing Ed Gualtieri.