Smirnoff launches £11m ‘Black Ice’

Diageo GB is to launch a premium packaged spirit (PPS), called Smirnoff Black Ice, aimed at men. The launch later this month is backed by an &£11m marketing spend, and is the first brand extension from its Smirnoff Ice brand.

Smirnoff Black Ice has been developed for men who think existing PPS brands are too feminine and too sweet.

Smirnoff Black Ice is still based on Smirnoff Red vodka, but is slightly less sweet and less fizzy, with a “crisper bite,” a Diageo source says. Despite the name, it will be a clear liquid (the original is opaque), and price, alcohol level and bottle format will be identical. The label will be black and silver, compared with the original’s red and silver.

Smirnoff Black Ice will be available in the on-trade sector from August, with an off-trade launch in October. Although new ads for the original Smirnoff Ice break in August, these will not initially include Smirnoff Black Ice. Executions for Smirnoff Black Ice, created by Smirnoff’s agency J Walter Thompson, will air later in the year.

Diageo claims total marketing spend on the Smirnoff Ice brand will be &£40m over the next year, &£14m of which will go on above-the-line ads for both product variants.

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