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Swardlick Seeks Legs for Vodka

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Agency to bow first consumer ads for import Three Olives

Swardlick Marketing Group uses curvaceous women to cue martini drinkers to ask for Three Olives Vodka in the English import's first consumer ad campaign. The $3 million push breaks in July magazines.

"Three Olives has been around for four years, and it has been showing growth, so we thought it was time to support the brand on a national level," said Paul Coulombe, CEO of White Rock Distilleries in Lewiston, Maine, the brand's importer.

Three ads for the import feature models inside martini glasses. The head: "What's in your martini?"

"We wanted to create a memorable image that had stopping power and properly positioned the product," said David Swardlick, president of the Portland, Maine, shop.

Previous ads, limited to point-of-sale, promotions and trade, were tagged, "The martini vodka." Spending was minimal, Swardlick said.

Last year, 88,000 cases were sold, Coulombe said. About 10 million cases of imported vodka are sold annually in the U.S., and competition is "fierce," said Frank Walters, svp, director of research at M. Shanken Communications, New York.

Walters noted Ketel One and Grey Goose "started off with nothing ... and built up a loyal following. It's all about consumer awareness."

The ads will run in Golf, Esquire, Money and others through December.