Martini aims V2 launch at youth market

Martini maker Westbay Distributors is injecting new life into its ageing brand with the launch of a ready-mixed drink based on a vodka martini cocktail, as predicted in Marketing Week (February 7).

The premium drink, called V2, carries the Martini brand on the front of the bottle and aims to broaden the core drink’s appeal to younger consumers. It is almost certain to be followed by other variants.

But the company must wait for the Government’s first Budget to see how much it can spend on promotion, in case Chancellor Gordon Brown classifies V2 as an alcopop and imposes swingeing duty increases.

A 4m ad budget has been assigned for the launch, including a TV and poster campaign through HHCL & Partners, but this spend may have to be reduced if there is a tax hike on V2 above the expected annual spirits increase.

Tony Quinn, new product development marketing manager at Westbay Distributors, says: “This is not an alcopop. We want to reinvigorate the Martini brand.”

V2 is a blend of Russian vodka, Martini vermouth and soda, and will be available nationally from June 9.

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