Vodka must be the in drink to be seen with at the moment. In recent months two brands, Absolut and Voli, have linked up with celebrity brand partners to form very creative brand partnerships that match the celebrities brand values perfectly. Both are music stars, accentuating the on going relationship between alcohol and music.
Gorillaz and Absolut Vodka are the first example to have created a very innovative design brand partnership. Gorillaz artistic mastermind Jamie Hewlett was given the task of designing a bottle for the company’s London brand.
He came up with a “unique take on London’s style and fashion pioneers over the past 200 years” featuring seven characters from the city’s past, including the Dickensian, the 18th century dandy, the punks, the mods, the 50s pinstripe, the 60s chic, and the 80s casual. Each design reflects the dark side of London culture.
In Hewlett’s Absolute London design, he creates a London, which should be in a Gorillaz music video, funky yet sketchy, dark yet eye catching. He has transformed a normal vodka brand into a dynamic, colourful and engaging product that will stand out on the retail store shelves and gain from the brand endorsement and association with the cooler brand that is Gorillaz.
The second Vodka partnership is between Voli and Fergie from Black Eyed Peas.
Fergie likes to party goes the spin but she also likes to be able to wake up the next morning to work out, too. So when rapper Pitbull told her about the low-calorie vodka company he had just become part-owner of the pop star was sold (she'd probably had a few....)
"I throw myself into the companies that I partner with and I don't want to put my name on anything I don't believe in or that feels false," Fergie said. She has also partnered with Avon and the Wet & Wild clothing franchise ( the mind boggles on the latter....). "People can sense when something isn't truthful." Very true and very unusual for a pop star who is clearly very aware of her brand and brand values and what her endorsement is worth. Usually they just take the money and run…..
Today, both Pitbull and Fergie are equity owners in Voli Vodka, a "light" vodka claiming between 25 percent and 40 percent fewer calories than leading brands.
"It's for those who have healthy lifestyle—who get up in the morning and work out, who do have careers, but who also like to play and have a good time" said Fergie.
Pitbull added "the one thing we were never interested in doing was finding someone who was simply a face for the brand, a paid celebrity. We were interested in a partnership with celebrities who had an authentic relationship to what the brand is about and that wanted to be actively involved with the brand as true partners, not just as faces up on billboards or magazines."
Both brand partnerships work in very distinct ways. Absolut through changing the creative design to attract a new customer and engage an existing one and one through a more traditional celebrity brand partnership which feels more authentic than most.
Both work in a mutually beneficial way, they reflect positively on the brand endorsee (the two music stars) as much as the product, crucial success factor in partnership marketing.