Companies are responsible for increasing sales and driving brand awareness, however, sometimes consumers take it into their own hands. One of the more recent campaigns is “bros icing bros” – where one “bro” is surprised by another “bro” with a Smirnoff Ice alcoholic beverage. The recipient of the surprise is then supposed to drop to one knee and chug the drink. And so became the act of “getting iced.” Videos of friends surprising friends by placing Smirnoff Ice bottles in unexpected places flooded Youtube, Facebook, dedicated blogs and other social media sites skyrocketing the advertising stunt into a phenomenon.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Smirnoff Ice is not exactly popular among the fellas. It’s considered a “girly” drink, along the lines of a wine cooler; and if you ask any “bro” he won’t admit to liking it. Yet, thanks to this mindless (or brilliant) marketing stunt, men are flocking to liquor stores purchasing cases of the drink so they can laugh at their friends as they’re shamed into drinking such a girly beverage. However, Smirnoff will have the last laugh as sales of the beverage have increased and Smirnoff Ice is now a household/fraternity/locker room name.
This situation is a double edged sword for Smirnoff. On one side, sales of the beverage have increased and brand awareness is most likely at its peak, but on the flip side, the game is mocking the beverage and poisoning any positive recognition the beverage had. The viral campaign will eventually lose its appeal, so should Smirnoff capitalize on its 15 minutes of fame or deny any connection? We’ll see what the brand does with future advertisements and promotions, but it would be foolish for them to not leverage this newfound popularity in order to sustain beverage sales. Any reputable communications agency can put a positive spin on the product; might as well let Smirnoff ride this out in the meantime.
Family gatherings, office happy hours, and house parties may have just become a lot more interesting. Feel free to stop by YouGotIced to see the “icing” yourself.
Domus, Inc. is an integrated digital and traditional marketing communications agency. For more information, please visit us at http://www.domusinc.com.