Stoli Taps Composer Hans Zimmer to Evoke Boldness With a Sonic-Driven Campaign

Vodka brand wants to represent 'authentic' people

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Vodka makes everything a little bit louder, and Stoli is capitalizing on that with its new sonic-driven campaign.

In collaboration with agency Fred & Farid, Stoli launched a new global advertising campaign featuring Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer and his collaborator, Emmy- and BAFTA-nominated Lorne Balfe, as well as Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rachel Morrison. The spot also features award-winning photographer Rankin and graphic designer Tyrsa.

The company hopes to convey its bold and authentic voice with the “Loud and Clear” campaign.

“There are so many anecdotes about Stoli that are cool and iconic,” said Hugues Pietrini, global CEO, Stoli Group. “For this campaign the first step was to reassess the brand and its positioning. We wanted to create something to disrupt the category.”

With the campaign, the beverage-maker hopes to set itself apart from heavily branded vodka products that have cropped up in recent years.

“So many vodka brands are new and their campaigns revolve around being brand new and ‘from scratch’,” explained Pietrini. “The main message for us is the manifesto of giving a voice to people who have strong character and authenticity. We want to give a voice to real people whether you’re a welder or a DJ. We live by these values.”

The work shoes how “the vodka is linked to volume because when you mix vodka with flavors, it gives volume to what you drink,” said Fred Raillard, co-founder and CEO, Fred & Farid. “The campaign says be proud of what drives you and claim it loudly. This is a broad and inclusive campaign that allows us to highlight interesting personalities and establish ourselves in popular culture.”

Stoli Group hopes to reach across age groups and demographics, and while every brand seems to be clamoring to appeal to millennials these days, Pietrini acknowledged the company is unlikely to change millennial cultural mindset with an advertising campaign.

“We don’t have to say we’re the best,” Pietrini said. “People should know.”

Stoli Group has additional initiatives on the horizon for the rest of the year. The brand has a newly launched tequila brand, Cenote, and plans to release mezcal and gin by the end of the year, according to a statement.

Pietrini told Adweek that Stoli will also be launching an LGBTQ-targeted product in 2018 with a partner, which could be announced as soon as next week. Stoli has faced some controversy in the past with gay bars boycotting the brand over Russia’s anti-LGBTQ policies in the US and Canada. The company became the focus of social media attacks that urged consumers to #DumpStoli.

Stoli made a move to mend fences by releasing a letter fervently opposing Russia’s homophobic policies in 2013 and has since worked on a number of LGBTQ-friendly initiatives.

The company declined to comment further on the LGBTQ-targeted product being released this year.

@AlissaFleck Alissa Fleck is a New York City-based reporter, podcast producer and contributor to Adweek.