Y&R Bejewels Bottle for Beam’s VOX Vodka Entry

Ads Tout Quintuple Filtering in Appeal to ‘Likable Pretension’
CHICAGO–Friendly jabs at other vodkas on the market highlight the national launch campaign for Jim Beam Brands’ VOX.
The print campaign from lead Jim Beam agency Young & Rubicam, Chicago, features a shot of the VOX bottle against a simple black background. The black-labeled bottle, which has a distinct indented design, fills only a quarter of the full-page ads.
“We talked about the bottle as a jewel,” said Mark Figliulo, Y&R’s chief creative officer. “If you make the bottle too big, that’s all you really see.”
Headlines refer to the brand’s process of distilling the vodka five times. One execution reads, “Most people can’t tell the difference the fifth distillation makes. Let them drink their dirty little vodka.” Another says, “Some people say our process of distilling is obsessive, time consuming and inefficient. So.”
The playful tone of the text aims at “likable pretension,” he said. “It’s kind of making fun of ourselves for being so pretentious.”
“The ultra premium vodka category has been hot,” said Nancy Lintner, vice president of marketing for Jim Beam Brands. “We knew we had a real opportunity in the category, but we wanted a brand entry that took luxury vodka up a couple of notches.”
The work, breaking in April editions of GQ, Esquire, Interview, Fortune, Talk, Vanity Fair and Playboy, targets highly social men and women in their 30s.
“We’re targeting consumers who want the ultimate,” Figliulo said. “It’s a premium product.”
VOX Vodka is making its national debut following an initial rollout in 1999 in top markets, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington.
Y&R is also agency of record for the Deerfield, Ill., distiller’s flagship brand, Jim Beam bourbon. The shop won the account in March 1999 and released a “real friends” global campaign in September. K